The Kabyle people
) are a Berber ethnic group
indigenous to Kabylia
in the north of Algeria
, spread across the Atlas Mountains
, one hundred miles east of Algiers
. They represent the largest Berber-speaking population of Algeria
and the second largest in North Africa.
Many of the Kabyles have emigrated from Algeria, influenced by factors such as the Algerian Civil War
cultural repression by the central Algerian government,
and overall industrial decline. Their diaspora has resulted in Kabyle people living in numerous countries. Large populations of Kabyle people settled in France
and, to a lesser extent, Canada
) and United States
. There are also Kabyle descendants in New Caledonia, a previous French penal colony, where Kabyle political dissidents were exiled by the French.
During successive rule of the Romans, Byzantines, Vandals, Carthaginians and Ottomans the Kabyle people were among the few peoples in North Africa who maintained their independence.
The Kabyle people resisted very fiercely, to the extent that even after the Arab conquest of North Africa they still had possession over their mountains.
In fact it was only until 1857 that Kabylia as a whole, was fully and entirely conquered and subdued. 
List of Empires/Dynasties created by the Kabyle people
The Fatimid Caliphate was created by the Kutama
Berbers after they had conquered Ifriqiya.
The origin of the Fatimids was in Little Kabylia and Ibn Khaldun
also confirms that the Fatimids were originally peasants from Kabylia
The Kutama Berbers conquered the whole of North Africa in addition to some important territories in the Middle East, resulting in an empire larger than four to million square kilometres.
Origin and conquests of the Fatimids
The Zirid Dynasty was a family of Sanhadja
Berbers with origins in the Kabyle mountains.
During their reign they established their rule over the entire Maghreb
and also established rule in parts of Andalusia
. They also had suzerainty
over the island of Sicily through the Kalbite emirs
and later assassinated the ruler and took over the island.
When the Emirate of Sicily was split into separate taifas
, Ayyub Ibn Tamim entered Sicily and united all of the taifas under his rule until he left the island.
Lands possessed or captured by the Hammadids throughout their entire history.
Kingdom of Ait Abbas and Kingdom of Kuku
Kabyle Kingdoms at their height
The Kabyle were relatively independent of outside control during the period of Ottoman Empire
rule in North Africa. They lived primarily in three different kingdoms: the Kingdom of Kuku
, the Kingdom of Ait Abbas
, and the principality of Aït Jubar.
The area was gradually taken over by the French during their colonization
beginning in 1857, despite vigorous resistance. Such leaders as Lalla Fatma n Soumer
continued the resistance as late as Mokrani
's rebellion in 1871.
French officials confiscated much land from the more recalcitrant tribes and granted it to colonists, who became known as pieds-noirs
During this period, the French carried out many arrests and deported
resisters, mainly to New Caledonia
in the South Pacific
. Due to French colonization, many Kabyle emigrated to other areas inside and outside Algeria.
Over time, immigrant workers also began to go to France.
In the 1920s, Algerian immigrant workers in France organized the first party promoting Algerians independence. Messali Hadj
, Imache Amar
, Si Djilani
, and Belkacem Radjef
rapidly built a strong following throughout France and Algeria in the 1930s. They developed militants who became vital to the fighting for an independent Algeria. This became widespread after World War II.
Since Algeria gained independence in 1962, tensions have arisen between Kabylie and the central government on several occasions. In July 1962, the FLN
(National Liberation Front) was split rather than united. Indeed, many actors who contributed to independence wanted a share of power but the ALN
(National Liberation Army) directed by Houari Boumédiène
, joined by Ahmed Ben Bella
, had the upper hand because of their military forces.
In 1963 the FFS
party of Hocine Aït Ahmed
contested the authority of the FLN
, which had promoted itself as the only party in the nation. Aït Ahmed and others considered the central government led by Ben Bella authoritarian, and on September 3, 1963 the FFS
(Socialist Forces front) was created by Hocine Aït Ahmed
This party grouped opponents of the regime then in place, and a few days after its proclamation, Ben Bella sent the army into Kabylie to repress the insurrection. Colonel Mohand Oulhadj also took part in the FFS
and in the maquis
because he considered that the mujahideen
were not treated as they should be.
In the beginning, the FFS wanted to negotiate with the government but since no agreement was reached, the maquis took up arms and swore not to give them up as long as democratic principles and justice were[clarification needed]
a part of the system. But after Mohand Oulhadj's defection, Aït Ahmed could barely sustain the movement and after the FLN
congress on April 16, 1964 which reinforced the government's legitimacy, he was arrested in October 1964. As a consequence, the insurrection was a failure in 1965 because it was hugely repressed by the forces of the ALN, under Houari Boumédiène. In 1965 Aït Ahmed was sentenced to death, but later pardoned by Ben Bella. Approximately 400 deaths were counted amongst the maquis.
In 1980, protesters mounted several months of demonstrations in Kabylie demanding the recognition of Berber as an official language; this period has been called the Berber Spring
. In 1994–1995, the Kabyle conducted a school boycott, termed the "strike of the school bag". In June and July 1998, they protested, in events that turned violent, after the assassination of singer Lounès Matoub
and passage of a law requiring use of the Arabic language in all fields.
In the months following April 2001 (called the Black Spring
), major riots among the Kabyle took place following the killing of Masinissa Guermah
, a young Kabyle, by gendarmes. At the same time, organized activism produced the Arouch
, and neo-traditional local councils. The protests gradually decreased after the Kabyle won some concessions from President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
On 6 January 2016, Tamazight was officially recognized in Algeria's constitution as a language equal to Arabic.
Regions of Kabyle settlements in Algeria
The geography of the Kabyle region played an important role in the people's history. The difficult mountainous landscape of the Tizi Ouzou
provinces served as a refuge, to which most of the Kabyle people retreated when under pressure or occupation. They were able to preserve their cultural heritage in such isolation from other cultural influences.
The area supported local dynasties (Numidia, Fatimids in the Kutama periods, Zirids, Hammadids, and Hafsids of Bejaïa) or Algerian modern nationalism, and the war of independence. The region was repeatedly occupied by various conquerors. Romans and Byzantines controlled the main road and valley during the period of antiquity and avoided the mountains (Mont ferratus). During the spread of Islam
, Arabs controlled plains but not all the countryside (they were called el aadua
: enemy by the Kabyle).
The French gradually and totally conquered the region and set up a direct administration.
Topographic map of Kabylia.
The Kabyle region is referred to as Al Qabayel
("tribes") by the Arabic-speaking population and as Kabylie
in French. Its indigenous inhabitants call it Tamurt Idurar
("Land of Mountains") or Tamurt n Iqbayliyen
/Tamurt n Iqbayliyen
("Land of the Kabyle"). It is part of the Atlas Mountains
and is located at the edge of the Mediterranean.
Culture and society
During the first centuries of their history, Kabyles used the Tifinagh
writing system. Since the beginning of the 19th century, and under French influence, Kabyle intellectuals began to use the Latin script
. It is the basis for the modern Berber Latin alphabet
After the independence of Algeria
, some Kabyle activists tried to revive the Old Tifinagh alphabet. This new version of Tifinagh has been called Neo-Tifinagh
, but its use remains limited to logos
. Kabyle literature has continued to be written in the Latin script.
of Kabyle background generally live in France. Recently, the Protestant community has had significant growth, particularly among Evangelical
The traditional economy of the area is based on arboriculture
and olive trees
) and on the craft industry (tapestry
). Mountain and hill farming is gradually giving way to local industry (textile and agro-alimentary). In the middle of the 20th century, with the influence and funding by the Kabyle diaspora, many industries were developed in this region. It has become the second most important industrial region in the country after Algiers.
Demonstration by Kabyles in Paris in April 2016
The Kabyle have been fierce activists in promoting the cause of Berber (Amazigh
) identity. The movement has three groups: those Kabyle who identify as part of a larger Berber nation (Berberists
); those who identify as part of the Algerian nation (known as "Algerianists", some view Algeria as an essentially Berber nation); and those who consider the Kabyle to be a distinct nation separate from (but akin to) other Berber peoples (known as Kabylists
For historical and economic reasons, many Kabyles have emigrated to France, both for work and to escape political persecution. They now number around 1 million people.
Some notable French people are of full or partial Kabyle descent.
Notes and references
- ^ a b c "Kabyles around the world". Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- ^ Frawley, William J. (2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: AAVE - Esperanto, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0195139778. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- ^ "Centre de Recherche Berbère - Ecriture: Libyque & tifinagh". www.centrederechercheberbere.fr. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
- ^ Lanfry, Jacques (1978). "Les Zwawa (Igawawen) d'Algérie centrale (essai onomastique et ethnographique)". Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée. 26 (1): 75–101. doi:10.3406/remmm.1978.1825.
- ^ "The Kabyle Berbers, AQIM and the search for peace in Algeria | Algeria | al Jazeera".
- ^ The Middle East and North Africa: Pg 156
- ^ Sketches of Algeria During the Kabyle War By Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley: Pg 118
- ^ The Kabyle People By Glora M. Wysner
- ^ The Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 1: Pg 568
- ^ The art journal London, Volume 4: Pg 45
- ^ The Barbary Coast By Henry Martyn Field: Pg 93
- ^ Scottish Geographical Magazine, Volume 10; Volume 1894
- ^ The Twentieth Century, Volume 71
- ^ Walks in Algiers and Its Surrounding
- ^ The United Service Magazine
- ^ The art journal London, Volume 4
- ^ a b African Foreign Policy and Diplomacy from Antiquity to the 21st Century, Volume 1: Pg 92
- ^ a b An Atlas of African History by J. D. Fage: Pg 11
- ^ Ibn Khaldun: The Birth of History and the Past of the Third World: Pg 67
- ^ An Atlas of African History J.D. Fage: Pg 11
- ^ A History of Africa - J.D. Fage: Pg 166
- ^ The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3 - J.D. Fage: Pg 16
- ^ Saladin, the Almohads and the Banū Ghāniya: The Contest for North Africa: Pg 42
- ^ Islam: Art and Architecture: Pg 614
- ^ Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen): Pg 55 & 56
- ^ Nomads and Crusaders, A.D. 1000-1368 By Archibald Ross Lewis
- ^ E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Volume 4, publié par M. Th. Houtsma, Page: 600
- ^ Bélaïd Abane, L'Algérie en guerre: Abane Ramdane et les fusils de la rébellion, p. 74
- ^ a b Monbeig, Pierre (1992). "Une opposition politique dans l'impasse. Le FFS de Hocine Aït-Ahmed". Revue du monde musulman et de la Méditerranée. 65 (1): 125–140. doi:10.3406/remmm.1992.1560. ISSN 0997-1327.
- ^ Said Malik Cheurfa ⵣ (2011-08-03), Révolte de Hocine Ait Ahmed et Mohand Oulhadj en 28 septembre 1963 par Malik Cheurfa.flv, retrieved 2019-04-22
- ^ "AVANT PROJET DE REVISION DE LA CONSTITUTION" (PDF). Algeria Press Service. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- ^ "Ebook LA KABYLIE ORIENTALE DANS L'HISTOIRE - Pays des Kutuma et guerre coloniale de Hosni Kitouni". www.harmatheque.com. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- ^ Abdelfettah Lalmi, Nedjma (2004-01-01). "Du mythe de l'isolat kabyle". Cahiers d'Études Africaines (in French). 44 (175): 507–531. doi:10.4000/etudesafricaines.4710. ISSN 0008-0055.
- ^ Universalis, Encyclopædia. "KABYLES". Encyclopædia Universalis. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- ^ Abdelmadjid Hannoum, Violent Modernity: France in Algeria, Page 124, 2010, Harvard Center for Middle Eastern studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Amar Boulifa, Le Djurdjura à travers l'histoire depuis l'Antiquité jusqu'en 1830 : organisation et indépendance des Zouaoua (Grande Kabylie), Page 197, 1925, Algiers.
- ^ Lucien Oulahbib, Le monde arabe existe-t-il ?, page 12, 2005, Editions de Paris, Paris.
- ^ https://www.euronews.com/2012/05/12/election-hit-by-irregularities-says-algerian-opposition-leader, Euronews, "Election hit by irregularities, says Algerian opposition leader", www.euronews.com, 12 May 2012, accessed 5 October 2020
- ^https://www.algeriepatriotique.com/2020/09/29/mohcine-belabbes-si-le-tribunal-me-convoque-je-repondrai-present/, Mounir Serraï, "Mohcine Belabbès : «Si le tribunal me convoque, je répondrai présent»", www.algeriepatriotique.com, 29 September 2020, accessed 5 October 2020
- ^ www. kabylia-gov.org, Kabylia Government website
- ^ Salem Chaker, "Pour une histoire sociale du berbère en France" Archived 2012-11-12 at the Wayback Machine, Les Actes du Colloque Paris - Inalco, Octobre 2004
- ^ James Minahan, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: D-K, Good Publishing Group, 2002, p.863. Quote: "Outside North Africa, the largest Kabyle community, numbering around 1 million, is in France."