Nina S. Pearson's notes and photographs on life as an expat and seasoned traveler
Berber Living-5

Berber Living

I heard the name Berber from an Algerian friend, as she said the Berber people was very European looking instead of North African/Arab looking, I was wondering who they were and how they looked.   As I visited Morocco in February, the word Berber popped up a few times; but who are they?    According to Wikipedia: they are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley.   They are distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. However some thought that their descendants are of mixed origins, – including Oriental, Saharan, and European. So maybe that is why they look like this:

Berber woman, who was our host for morning tea in the Atlas Mountain

Berber woman, who was our host for morning tea in the Atlas Mountain

Today the Berbers mostly reside in the Atlas mountains, with a different type of architecture and decoration to those in the cities of Morocco. Their houses look like this:

Berber's house

Berber’s house

The term for this kind of architecture is ‘mud architecture’.   Village Asni is the first large village on our journey out of Marrakech.  Up close this is what it looks like. Picture of this can be seen on my previous post on Moroccan Landscape.

Yes, by the look of the picture, it shows that electricity is already there, but when I look inside; it’s still very basic.  There are no such things like ca ooking range, or microwave or a simple electric heater.  Daily activities are like the olden days, using charcoal and cooking traditional Moroccan Bread and Tajene in a clay pot.

We were lucky that we took the option within our tour to visit one of the Berber houses. Where they served us their famous Moroccan Tea and their ‘bread’.

Below photograph, inside the ‘mud house’, is their living room where they eventually performed the ritual of mixing mint tea in front  their guests, (which was all 20 of us). Together with the tea, also served was Moroccan Bread.

Preparing the Moroccan Bread while they allow us to explore their house.

Preparing the Moroccan Bread while they allow us to explore their house.

The living room inside a Berber house, where later on they entertained 20 of us, 'foreigners'.

The living room inside a Berber house, where later on they entertained 20 of us, ‘foreigners’.

On winter days, this is where they are having their sauna

On winter days, this is where they are having their sauna

It was here that I found out that Moroccan Tea is different from any other Arabian Mint Tea, where normally I can find anywhere within the Arabian countries. Here the process of mixing tea when the water is still very hot, like our host demonstrated here.

Proudly showing off her skill of pouring tea into tea glasses several times before she served it to us.

Proudly showing off her skill of pouring tea into tea glasses several times before she served it to us.

To the Berbers, obviously, the process of mixing tea together is sort of ritual. The outcome…. I would say, for those who are not tea connoisseurs, maybe the same like any other mint tea, but to me… it was very nice.

Last but not least, they also like their pet....

Last but not least, they also like their pet….

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7 Responses to “Berber Living”

  1. rumpydog

    The construction of the home is quite elaborate. I guess when you said mud I expected something more primitive. Sounds like a wonderful visit.

    Reply
    • Nin

      Yes, that visit was the best program on our Imperial City Tour of Morocco.
      Thanks for your visit.

      Reply
  2. Berber Living « Nin's Lenscape

    [...] fortunate to be able to visit them, which I wrote more about it on my blog, with the same title: Berber Living. 25.269420 51.518884 Rate this: Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

    Reply
  3. Moroccan Tea « Nin's Lenscape

    [...] about the ritual of mixing tea that count. More story to this on my blog: Nin’s Travelog 31.633333 -8.000000 Rate this: Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

    Reply

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