Berber people

ethnic group indigenous to North Africa

Berbers or Imazighen (also called Ilibiyen, traduction : "free people") are an ethnic group found natively in the countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa, and also found as immigrants in many countries, especially France.[1] Berbers usually speak a Berber language, of which there are many dialects. Berbers were both nomadic and land owners according to the region they live in. Most Berbers are Muslim and follow the Sunni branch and school of Maliki.

Berbers, Amazighs | Imaziɣn
Total population
c. more than 30 million Berber speakers; 40 m. Arabic speakers
Regions with significant populations
Morocco: 17 million (60% of total pop.)

Algeria: 13 m (40% of total pop.).
Mali: 800,000
Niger: 750,000
Mauritania: 680,000
Libya: 470,000

Europe: 4 million
Berber languages
Maghrebi Arabic
Islam (mostly Sunni)
Related ethnic groups
Egyptian, Semitic people, Iberian people, Moorish people, Haratin people



Zinedine Zidane, born to Berber parents from Algeria (Kabyle; Berbers in France)

Although most Maghrebis are of Berber ancestry, most now speak Arabic and only some scattered Berber ethnicities still speak the native Berber Afroasiatic languages.

Main Berber groups
Group Country Notes
Blida/Médéa Atlas Berbers Algeria In Central Algeria.
Chaoui people Algeria Found mainly in Eastern Algeria.
Chenini and Douiret Berbers Tunisia
Chenoui Berbers Algeria Ouarsenis and Mount Chenoua (Western Algeria).
Chleuhs Morocco The High Atlas, Anti-Atlas and the Sous valley.
Djerba Berbers Tunisia Speakers of the Djerbi language.
Ghomaras Morocco Only two berber speaking tribes left. Found in the western Rif between Tetouan and Jebha.
Guezula Mauritania
Kabyles Algeria In Kabylie.
Matmata Berbers Tunisia In Southern Tunisia.
Mozabites Algeria In the M'zab Valley (southern Algeria).
Nafusis Libya In western Libya.
Riffians Morocco Primarily in northern Morocco, with some also in Beni Snous, Northwestern Algeria
Sanhaja Morocco Found in the Rif bordering Riffian speaking tribes.
Siwi Egypt In the Siwa valley of Egypt.
Beni Snous Algeria Aït Snouss villages of western Algeria. Closely related to the Riffians in Morocco.
Tuareg Algeria, Libya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso Sahara (southern Algeria and north of the Sahel).
Zayanes Morocco Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Zenaga Mauritania
Zuwaras Libya In northwestern Libya.
Benha Egypt A family called Al-Barbary lives in Benha.


  1. "Berber". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2 May 2015.

Other websitesEdit