Friday, January 13, 2012


       PART II

By Dana W. Reynolds

The town of Djenne in Mali is one of several sites in the Sahel and Sudan regions whose roots by tradition date back to the days of the pharaohs. Photo credit
     "This city is great, flourishing and prosperous . . . one of the great markets of the Muslim world. Here gather the merchants who bring salt from the mines of Teghaza and those who bring gold from the mines of Bitou..." Tarikh es Sudan by al-Sadi  (cited by Basil Davidson in The African Past, 1964)  

        Ahel Gara is a general Tuareg name for people that were cultivators, though often seminomadic found throughout North Africa, the Sahara and Sahel.  They originally occupied places like Gara Mez- Zawaga in the Dahkhla Oasis west of the Nile and Gara Krima in the Wargla Oasis of the Mz’ab (Algeria) and towns named Garama or Jerma in Libya.
    For thousands of years the more war-like pastoralists among the Afro-Asiatic speakers have lived in symbiotic client-caretaker or client-vassal relationship with Nilo-Saharan speakersand other populations. This relationship in the world of both African and Asia, between the hamran or hamdan and shamran or shimran. has been touched upon  in the allegory of Sam or Shem and Kham or Kamaya (found even in Indian lore as Chamar and Shamar).
 These vassal castes engaged in agricultural and metallurgical practices among the Berber confederations (they are different then the slave castes).  Some were called Anbat or Anbiya whose name may have been derived from the Nobatae or Anbat of the Kharga oasis west of the Nile and Egypt. The latter are known later as Anbat-Znaga, while the Teda-Dazaga (or Teyzega in Mauritania where they are also called eznaga (znaga). The others appear to have been of Haratin, Teda or Ikaradan stock like the peoples called Izghan or Azgar or Izaggaren located in Tassili and other Saharan oases.

Dazaga woman of the Teda- Kreda also known as Gorane (Garran)
       The Dazaga are also known as the Daza, Azza, Azzaga.  This latter word likely corresponds to the name of the population once prevalent in the Sahara called Zagha, Zaghai or Zaggan.  They are semi-nomadic peoples found today in the eastern parts of the Sudan, Chad and Libya as Zawaga, Zawagha or Zaghawa and in the West as Sughai.  Their name has been variously translated in texts as Zagha, Zaghai, Sughai, Zaggan, Izghan, Zaghawa, Zuwagha, Zawagha, Zauge, Azuagha, Azwagha, Sungee, Sanghee, Songhai, Songhay,  Sughai, Zanghi, Zingani, Zanj, and possibly Znaga.  It is this population or ethnic group who today in Chad and Sudan call their dialect Barituki and their ethnicity the “Berberi” or “Baribari” from which issued the name “Berber”. Their “nobles” as just mentioned corresponded to the warlike veiled population called Tuareg who name themselves Imakitan (in Arab texts Iketamani, Roman texts Macuteni or Mactunia), Sanhaja/ Sangira, Hawara or Ait Louiaen or Luwata, and Wusilah (Roman texts Sylli) and Imaqqoren of certain regions of Sahara and Sahel. In some regions north of Sahara, like the Aures and Kabyle mountains of Tunisia and Algeria and the Rif area and Atlas mountains of Morocco, these four groups - the original Teda–Garran or Dazaga (Teyzaga), Zaghawa and Tuareg - comprised the Masmuda and darker-skinned populations of the Kabylia.
      There may also have been some tie originally of the Zaghawa to the populations called Agaw or Agau in Abyssinia who are related to a group which designated itself Yibir (Ibri in Arabic) as many of the early Zaghai or Zaghawa or Beriberi, or at least their smith caste, were considered Jewish in Arab medieval texs. (See Part I - From Proto-Berbers to Moors” Recalling Nilo-Saharan Origins posting and forthcoming post on this blog – The Berbers as Hebrews). The Agau once had a dynasty called Zaghwe.

Songhay Chief
  Based on certain archaeological and cultural evidence, Eva Meyerwitz in her "Origins of Sudanic Civilization" suggested that the seminomadic “Zagha” today called Zaghawa or Zawagha in Chad and Sudan were responsible for diffusing Nubian Meroeitic elements of Garamantian culture into Fezzan as well as further west as far as Mauretania near the Atlantic beginning around the start of the Christian era. She also noted the early medieval manuscripts and the relationship of the people-name Zaghawa to Zaghai, sokai or Zarai, a kingdom which is today known as Songhay or Sonra". The Zaghawa also made use of the camel which is considered to have come late into the Sahara causing the proto-Berbers like the Garamantes to forgo the use of horses and chariots. But the Garamantian cultural links to Nubia, however, date back centuries before its historical peak in the Roman era (as evident from the pyramids of Nubian or Meroeitic affinity and other cultural techniques and productions.)  Meyerowitz in fact believed these Zagha had taken over the Garamantian kingdom. However the name Zaghawa may have been the same as Zaueces mentioned in the writings of Herodotus and Arzugitani.
         The Zagha or Zaghawa or Zauge peoples were not only self-identified as “Beriberi” or Berbers, but were probably bringers of the name Berberi to the Sahara and North Africa. The Bali or Beli a Beja branch of the Zaghawa call themselves Beri or Beriberi. (Pastoralists of the West African Savannah. 1986, p. 74).
      An encyclopedia on the Islamic world relates the name to that of the ancient Zaueces of Herodotus (6th c. B.C.) and Arzugitani or Arzuges of Orosius which is connected to the region named Zeugitana by Pliny (1st c.).  It says: “It is very probable that this name is composed of two elements, zakiya, which is merely a variant of the Zakiya of the Berber genealogists and Ar. This second element recurs in the name of the ancient Libyan tribe of Arzugitani (Ar-zug-itani), identical with the Zauekes of Herodotus and the Zawagha of the Arab historians….” (Najendra Kr Singh, 2001, p. 153). The name Arzugitana came to refer generally to the peoples of southern Tripolitania (Merrills, 2004, p. 95) who were earlier named Gaitules. 
       The women of the Zauekes served as charioteers in war.  These Arzuges or Arzugitani tribes also inhabited the interior regions of Tripolitania and all the way to Lake Tritonis in northern Libya in classical times.  The Zavekes or Zaueces lived between the Maxyans or Maxitani (thought to be the Mazikes i.e. Tuareg) and the honey making Gyzantes or Zygantes (probably the Iznacen or Iznagen?) who all smeared themselves with red ochre. The name Zakiya is ancestral to the Zanata Berbers in general. The same article mentions that “Ifri”, is held to be the grandfather of Misra which is the ancestor of the Misrata a group of Hawara Berbers. It is said Ifren was son of Islitan, son of Misra, son of Zakiya, son of Warsik son of Adidat son of Djana (also written Chana or Jana). The Misrata are the Tuareg now called Imazuragh.  While “Ifri” was ancestor of the Iforas and Feruan clans of the Tuareg,  the Zaghai were said to descend from Djana or Jana.
      Eva Meyerowitz mentions that Dya or Zuwa the ruler said to have come from Wargla in the tradition of the Sugai, Zaghai or Songhay was sometimes called Djana. According to T. Lewicki, “The name 'Wargla' can be found in that of the Moorish 'tribe' of the Urceliani, referred to by Corippus in the sixth century” (Lewicki, p. 297).
     The Songhai rulers who were in fact called Sughai, Zaghai, Zaghawa or Zuwagha in various texts claimed they were descended from Djana who was a descendant of Mazigh like the Ifren or Ifuras Tuareg (also called Kel Iferouan or Ferwan) and the former came to be called Djanawa or Djanakerah in parts of the Sudan. It is in fact the origin of the names Ghana, Ghanawa or Gnaoua who were derived from the Songhai and Soninke peoples of the Niger.  Both of the Songhai and Tuareg groups comprised the “Zenata” Berbers of Tripolitania or Arzugitana.
       According to Jamil Abun-Nasr in the 9th century the “Zawagha living on the Tripolitanian coast “ helped the Ibadite ruler Khalaf  in the area of Sabratha also named Zawagha (today pronounced Zawarah or Zuwara by its present peoples) (1987, p. 46).  They also lived at this time in the Middle Atlas area of Fazaz. Gurara and Tuat or Tuwat were oases locales and rendezvous spots in Central Algeria for the Zaghai or Wangara and Tuareg traders in gold coming from Morocco and Tlemcen and Tunis. 
       Archeology testifies to the relationship of these regions of the desert in Algeria and Tunisia to locations further east, such as Siwa and Fezzan. In Tamentit in the Tuat region of Central Algeria, a stone idol with a ram’s head was found.  Although sacred depictions of the ram date back to the Neolithic period in the Sahara, the ram was well known to have been a symbol for the deity Ammon at Siwa and in Egypt. The peoples of Tuat and Jebel Nafusa in the heart of Arzugitana (Tunisia) knew how to build underground tunnels, now called foggaras, as in ancient Garamantian Fezzan in Libya.(See Part I of this post). It is thought some of the Zanata Berbers consisting of Magherawa, Jarawa, Zawagha and Nafzawa of the regions of Tuat and Mzab came directly from Cyrenaica in Libya during the period when the Roman emperor Trajan began to repress the people there. Many were Jewish or Judaized Berbers.

Gourara or Ghurara Berbers of southwestern Algeria are considered Zenata 

       By medieval times the indigenous people of the towns of Righ valley or Wadh Righ (land of the Maghrawa clan of the Zanata), of Tuwat (such as Tamentit and Ghurara)  and of the M’zab oases (Wargla, Sidrata, Biskra )had numerous master craftsmen, masons, locksmiths, armourers, tanners, boot and shoe makers,  tailors, and glassmakers. The towns were industrial and commercial centers possessing beautiful subterranean and artesian wells and acqueducts and gardens. Their craftsmen and artisans mined, worked and traded in gold and other metals and hence “the phrase the golden trade of the Moors”.  (Williams,   p. 240)

In the Gourara oasis a water tunnels or foggara irrigates the desert surroundings. They were built earlier by the ancestral Garamantes of Fezzan (Libya).

     Trade roots of the early Garawan or Wangara had long before the Islamic invasions of North Africa of the 9th century led from Tuat and its towns to southern Mauritania site of the ancient capitals of Ghana including Audoghost and Walata and Kumbi Saleh by way of Teghazza. The earliest mention of Ghana is said to have been in the 8th century by a Persian author a few centuries later Al Bakri or Bekri described the culture.

 “…al-Bakri described the eleventh-century court at Kumbi Saleh, where he saw gold-embroidered caps, golden saddles, shields and swords mounted with gold, and dogs' collars adorned with gold and silver. The Soninke managed to keep the source of their gold (the Bambuk mines, most notably) secret from Muslim traders. Yet gold production and trade were important activities that undoubtedly mobilized hundreds of thousands of African people. Leaders of the ancient kingdom of Ghana accumulated wealth by keeping the core of pure metal, leaving the unworked native gold to be marketed by their people.”

Ruins from the town of Kumbi Saleh (in southeast Mauretania) kingdom of Ghana

A few modern Soninke women

        It is said that even the dogs of Ghana in al-Bekri’s time wore gold and silver collars and had pedigree. Other trade roots ran from Tahart in the Rustamid kingdom through the Zanata town of Sijilmassa towards  Ghana. The peoples of Ghana, the Ghanawa or Djanawa were the Soninke traders or Wangara who were also known as Wankara, Wakore and Sarakore or Sarakolle. They were originally Sughai/Zaghai/Songhai people who had adopted the Mande dialects from the Niger region and likely were a mixture of both Mande and Sughai.

Hasna Elbachariya

A king leads a procession in the 19th century Zaghawa kingdom of Kanem-Bornu
       Al Maqrizi the 15th century writer claimed in fact in his day all nations between Abyssinia on the south, Nubia on the east Barkah on the north and Tekrur on the East including the kingdoms of Kanem and Bornu established between the regions of  Nigeria and Chad from the 9th century were occupied by or called Zaghai (better known as Songhai).(Cooley, 1841, 98, fn. 157, Barth, 1967, p. 107). (Barka was a very ancient town in Libya north of Fezzan.) The Zaghawa were the the mainstock of Kanem when it was under the Sefuwa dynasty called Maghuri (Imaqquran Tuareg) 11th century. The rulers claimed descent from the Himyarite Sa’ifs of ancient pre-Islamic Arabia dating back to the time of Moses. (Lange, D., 2011 ). The name Zaghai also designated the kingdom of Takrur (Laya, p. 454) whose people later mixed with the early Fulani people to become the Toucouleurs.
         According to Harold MacMichael -The traveler and observer al-Idrisi, born at the end of the 11th century in Spain spoke of the ethnic ties of the Sidrata to the Zaghawa or Zaghai. In the 10th century the Berbers called Sodraya, Sadarata or Sidrata who had named the Syrtes or Syrtica area of the Libyan coast (the Gulf of Sidra) were the occupants Biskra, Sidrata and Wargla or Warghalan oases towns in the M’zab region. Around the 11th century the Sidrata fled south to Gara Krima in Wargla oases area when the  Fatimid army conquered Biskra.  The Sidrata were said to belong to the Luwata.
      Wrote Idrisi -  “ ‘the two most important residences of the Zaghawa are Sakwa and Shama.  There is there a nomad tribe called Sodraya who pass as Berbers.’ These Sodraya, he says, ‘resemble the Zaghawa in their habits and customs, identify themselves  with them racially, and are commercially dependent upon them…’” (MacMichael, H.A. 1967, 106) The Zaghai inhabitants there were called Takrur.( Cooley, 98).  The Sidrata appear to have been Tuareg-affiliated.
  Ibn Batuta referred to the Zaghai as Zaghiyah or Zaghah. (Cooley, . p. 99).  Leo Africanus 16th also states that the "Sungai " (i.e. Zaghai) language was used in five states. Ibn Khaldun 14th c., speaks of the Zaghawa as among the veiled Sanhaja. It is thus not surprising to find an author in E.J. Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam, using another variant of the name -“Zaggan”, - and saying they were originally Sanhaja who in the west were absorbed into the Masmuda and Makili (Banu Maqil) of the Sus (Colin, 1993, p. 395).  
Ruins of Tamentit (in the Adrar region of Algeria)  - land of the Zuwagha and Maghrawat es-Sudani

The words Zaghawa and Zawagha have been used interchangeably by writers on the Berbers over the past century. H. Mones wrote of the Zaghawa in his article, "The Conquest of North Africa and Berber Resistance" for UNESCO noting that "the Zanata (or Zanatians) inhabited Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, extending southward as far as Djabal Nafusa and the oases of Fezzan, the predominant confederations of kabilas being those of the Hawwara, Luwata, Nafusa, and Zaghawa" (Mones, 1988, p. 228) Abun-Nasr and other writers more recently have used the spelling "Zawagha". Najeebabadi wrote "Gradually Idris become popular among Zawagha, Lawata, Zanata, Sadrota, Meknes and the Ghanaza clans of the Berbers” (2001, p. 222). 
 Budgett Meakin in his The Moorish Empires also wrote that among the first Berber tribes mentioned by Ibn khaldun (14th c.) to become allies to the Idrisid ruler Abd al Majid were "the Zawagha, Lawata, Sadrata, Nafza..." (Meakin, 1899, p. 36).
  The Zingani were also Zaghawa whom further west were called “Sungai” (the Songhai) whose dialect was used in Walata, Timbuktu, Mali, Jenne and Kagho (Cooley, 1841, p. 99 and 125). Of Jenne it was said, by the writer of Tarikh as-Sudan, " it is because of this blessed town that camel caravans come to Timbuktu from all points of the horizon."

Ruins of the old town of Walata
        The two major tribes in Fez in Morocco at the time were the Zawagha and the Beni Yarghish who lived in tents made of goat hair.  According to Ibn Idhar, born in 14th c. Andalusia, Yusuf bin Tashfin of the Lamtuna (Aulamidden Tuareg) Almoravid dynasty penetrated the Moroccan Rif area in the 12th century and found there the Matmata Tuareg and Zuwagha. The towns of Algiers and oran were occupied as well by these clans in the same century. 
      Similar to the ancient Mauri, the Zaghawa live in huts, but are also semi-nomadic and obtain much of their livelihood through herding cattle, camels and sheep and harvesting wild grains. They are first mentioned with the Tubu or Teda Garawan (todays Gor’an) by Al Yaquubi (9th c.) and are also people that traded slaves as did the Teda and ancient Garamantes.
      The Zuwagha were also present in several parts of Spain approximately a thousand years ago like the Jarawa and other Zanata and Masmuda.  The Jarawa (Garawa) were said to have been a "huge" proportion of the Zanata of North Africa (Taha, 1988, p. 24). The former are supposed to have named the present town of Azuagh in Badajoz, Spain in part of what was Andalusia. Idrisi mentions there a Moorish fortress in the 12th century. The name Zuwagha as mentioned above was sometimes pronounced Zuwara or Suera.  Suera de la Sierra d'Espadan in Valencia in the province of Castellon. (Velazquez, p. 140).  
Castle or Castillo de Mirmontes in Azuaga (Badajoz, Spain) said to have belonged to the Zuwaga tribe in Spain
          Zuwagha or Azuwagh Berbers were a branch or caste of the Sanhaja-related Kitama or Imakitan Tuareg according to the Djamhara (Velasquez, 1969, p. 140), while Ibn Hazm makes them Berbers of Botr or Al-abter stock.  Ibn Khaldun speaks of the Zaghawa as among the veiled Sanhaja. It is thus not surprising to find an author in E.J. Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam, using another variant of the name -“Zaggan”, - and saying they were originally Sanhaja who in the west were absorbed into the Masmuda and Makili (Banu Maqil) of the Sus (Colin, 1993, p. 395). 
       By the 9th century most of the Ibadites (Zenata) traders from Wargla, Jebel Nafusa and the Wed Righ had settled in Audughost an early capital of Ghana (modern southern Mauretania).

“According to scholars, the name Barbara and al-Barabir was attached to the Djanawa or Soninke (Wangara/Wakore) of Dar Tichitt in early Arab sources and Portuguese chronicles (Lewicki, 1988, p. 313).  According to Arab sources of the sixth/twelfth century (Kitab al-Istibsar and al-Zuhri), the blacks known as the Barbar or Barbara (Arabic plural:Barabir) formed the population of the Sudanese land of Zafunu, corresponding to present-day Diafunu.  They counted among the Djanawa that is to say the blacks and also, according to al-Zuhri, lived in the center of the desert (probably the deserts and steppes of south-east Mauritania) and in areas in the vicinity of Ghana and Tadmekka (north of Gao), the inhabitants of which invaded their lands in order to take slaves….The Barbara believed themselves to be the noblest of the Sudanese peoples and claimed that the sovereigns of Ghana came from their ‘tribe’.
     The Barbara would thus appear to be a group of the Soninke.”(Lewicki, p. 313).

      Many of these Mande speakers Barbar were thus known as Djanawa, Gnawa, Guineans, Djanawa, Ignawen, Djanah and Djenakherah (Lewicki, 1988, p. 313; Williams, 2003, p. 300; MacQueen, 1821, p. 35). 
      It has long been recognized that the Bavares of the Mauri Bavares of the Sitifensis of the ancient Maghreb region was frequently written as Babar or Barbares.  More recently David Goldenberg has acknowledged this in the article: Rabbinic Knowledge of Black Africa (Sifre Deut. 320).  He writes as follows:

The Barbares are mentioned in Julius Honorius, Cosmographia (5th century) A 47, A 48 (var.Barbaricen(s), Barbarigens), B 48 (Barbaricenses), ed. Riese, Geog. Lat. Min., pp. 53-54; Libergenerationis 197.67 (Chronographus anni 353), ed. Mommsen, p. 107, ed. Riese, p. 167; Laterculus Veronensis (4th century), ed. Riese, p. 129. Barbares is a variant form of the name Bavares, a people of Mauretania Tingitana and/or Caesariensis, who possibly appear also under the name Babari. Note the association of Barbares with Mauretania in the Laterculus V V Veronensis (Riese, p. 129): Item gentes quae in Mauretania sunt: Mauri [Quinque]gentiani, Mauri Mazices, Mauri Barbares, Mauri Bacuates....” (Goldenberg, 1998, p. 3 fn. 3)
        Retrieved pdf file
       The Soninke are usually also associated with the names Wakore and Wangara which are assumed by many researchers to be derived from the same root although that is not certain. It is also said “There is a tradition that that Ouakoré, Ouangara and Songhay came from the same ancestor, a certain Tarâs from Yemen, who had three sons of the names of Ouakoré, Ouangara and Songhay. The elder son Ouakoré was given the kingship under the title "Kaya maghan" (king of gold).” Taras or Daris is the ancient Berber ancestor whom the Greeks called Atlas.
     “Wakoré/Wangara” according to Andreas Massing “were Soninke clans specialized in trade, Islamic scholarship and law who migrated in the 14-15th centuries from the Awkar, now on Mauritanian territory, into the Mali provinces of Mema, Beledugu, Zaga, Bendugu, Massina, and further East and South, perhaps founding such towns as Odienne, Koro, Boron and Kong.” .  The early Mande and Songhai are considered to have lived in places like Dar Tichitt and Jenne which were forerunners to the ancient empires of Ghana and Songhai. Their Soninke descendants today in Mauretania are a fisher folk called Imraguen.

Ruins of the ancient Soninke town of Dar Tichitt in Mauretania
       Ibn Battuta identified the merchants of Zaghari as Wanjarata (Wangara) and as Saghanogho or Sanogo Ibadites.  The latter were either Tuareg or their vassals called Guirga (Sarakholle, Wakore, Songhay). Tuareg and Fulani are sometimes called “white” or sometimes “red” in the Arab and African texts respectively, while otherwise called blacks or Sudani). In the region of the modern country of Mauretania and Senegal, the Songhai traders who were mixed with Mande-speakers and called Soninke or Aswanek became known as Imraguen. 

Video of Imraguen

       Massing wrote that the name Wakore are generally associated with the Songhai and the Wangara with the Mande.  In any case, the names of the Saghanogo, Songhai, Zingani, Zaggan, Zaghai, Songhai, and Zaghawa, have the same etymological root and were names for the merchant class of gold traders who controlled the economies of so many kingdoms of the Sudan (Laya, 1992, p. 454, fn. 7; Cooley, 1841, p. 98, n.157).


Abun-Nasr, J  (1987)  – A history of the Maghreb in the Islamic period. p. 46

Cooley, W.D. (1841).  The Negroland of the Arabs examined and explained: Or an inquiry into the early
     history and geography of Central Africa. London.

Goldenberg, D. (1998) Rabbinic knowledge of Black Africa, Jewish Studies Quarterly (5), pp. 318-28.

Lange, D.  (2011).  "The Founding of Kanem by Assyrian Refugees ca. 600 BCE: Documentary, Linguistic,
    and Archaeological Evidence", Working Papers in African Studies, 265. Retrieved on line

Laya, D. (1992).   “The Hausa states”, In “Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth century” General
    History of Africa, UNESCO.

Lewicki, T. (1988). “The role of the Sahara and Saharians in relations between north and south”. General
    History of Africa Vol. 3, UNESCO

MacMichael, H. (1967). The tribes of Northern and Central Kordofan.
Massing, A. (2000). The Wangara an Old Soninke diaspora in West Africa. Cahiers D’Etudes Africaines.

Meakin. B. ( 1899). The Moorish empire: A historical epitome

Merrills, A.  (2003). Vandals, Romans and Berbers.

Mones,  H. (1992). The  Conquest of North Africa and Berber resistance"  in I. Hrbek 's General history of
    Africa. Vol. 3, UNESCO

Najeebabadi, A.S. (2000). History of Islam, Volume 3  (Darussalam Saudi Arabia)

Najendra Kr Singh, A. B. K. (2001). Encyclopaedia of the world Muslims:  tribes castes and communities
    Vol. 1, Global Vision Publication House

Taha, A. (1988) The Muslim conquest and settlement of North Africa and Spain.

Velasquez,  (1969). Mélanges de la Casa de Velasquez: Nouvelle Serie Volume 5

Williams, J.J. (2003). Hebrewisms of West Africa.

(Please feel free to make copies in case anything disappears. There are many people that publish, or copy and paste the information from this blog onto other sites. However, as a person with multicultural interests and background, I would appreciate if the above text is not copied and pasted without quotes under pseudonyms, or anonymously, to other web-sites in combination with trading curses or using abusive words with other individuals, or else, verbally insulting, denigrating, or attempting to dehumanize various ethnic groups, i.e., "white people", Europeans, "Arabs", " Jews", "Turks", Israelis, etc.  Please do not modify or add to text directly copied or taken from this site. Thanks in advance for your consideration. : )


Jamal said...

Many things on this blog about the Toubou are wrong.

1) Dazaga is the language of the Daza people not the Teda. So to post a picture of a Tuareg girl and claim that she's Dazaga and Teda and Kreda is a major error.

2) Kreda is a Daza clan.

3) Tedaga is the language of the Teda.

4) There is no such thing as "Haratin, Teda or Ikaradan" because Teda is Ikaradan.

5) Teda and Daza languages are not Afro-Asiatic. Our language is Nilo-Saharan and the closest languages to it is Kanembu and Kanuri but moreso Kanuri.

Dana W. Reynolds said...

Hi Jamal and thank you for taking to time out for reading my blog. First, I take it you were brought up in that part of Africa and are thus aware that colonialist and westerners tend to categorize Africans differently than might be done in indigenous cultures. Nevertheless, I am sure you are also aware that the Teda, Daza and Tubu are generally classified as a closely related Nilo-Saharan people as is stated in this blog and that the "Teda Kareda" or Ikaradan as they are called in different parts of Africa, are considered a singular people called "Tubu", another term for Teda - at least among scholars in the west.term .

The name Haratin is derived from the same word though they may live a lot further west today. Perhaps you are not aware that the Haratin are NOT originally Afro-Asiatic speaking but belong to the predecessors of the Tuareg that were Nilo-Saharan speaking like the Teda, Tubu and Daza. Haratin are not Taureg in the sense that you may be thinking, and were NOT Afro-Asiatic in a linguistic sense. That is why I am posting this information to correct people's mistaken beliefs about African populations.

You are also correct that Kreda is a Daza clan. But it is also true that Kreda ARE called Teda or Teda Krit or Ikaradan in sources. Thus, if you have a difference of opinion you will have to let me know why textbooks such as these have been written "Grammaire et textes teda-daza." By Charles et Marguerite Le Cœur. L'IFAN 46. Dakar: Institut Francais d'Afrique Noire, no. 46, 1956.

There so many African and western scholars referring to "Teda -Daza". It is not something I made up or am "wrong" about. See the article "Recherches ethnographiques sur les Teda-Daza" Annales de Geographie, 1958, Volume 57.

See also p. 147 Dictionnaire Touareg by Hans Ritter. “Akarada/Ikaradan (W & 3a: Aj.) a) Tubu (Tebu, Tibbu; Teda, Toda), Bewohner des Tibesti ... Kerada), die heute, als Kreda bezeichnet, im Bahr el Ghazal” These people may live in different places now but the words Kreda and Ikaradan are from the same root. I am sorry that you were not aware of this.

The Daza or Dazaga speakers are considered close relatives of the Teda and thus I would never have given the impression that the Teda and Daza were Afro-Asiatic-speaking. So we have to be careful when making constructive criticism to refer to the text.

Please feel free to point out to me where I said the Teda and Daza dialects were "Afro-Asiatic". Otherwise what you have said isn't constructive, but irrelevant, and the equivalent of an Amharic or Tigrinya person telling me he is not "Abyssinian". Obviously there are different ethnic groups in Africa -as the rest of the world - that are distantly related linguistically and culturally and others that are very close to the point where they can for all intents and purposes be classified as a single population. That is why the term Teda-Daza IS utilized by scholars.

If you have read this portion of the blog and the one preceding it you know that I am writing about the Nilo-Saharan speakers and have mentioned the Kanuri and other groups of Nilo-Saharan speakers across Africa.

John Wright pointed out “Kreda, Gorane, Bidayet, Zaghawa, Iraouia, Ikaraden - they have certain distinct racial, linguistic and cultural characteristics in common.” Trans-Saharan Slave Trade 2007


Dana W. Reynolds said...

So let us not pretend that these people are so distinct or separate just because of current political situations that they can not be categorized by ethnicity or heritage. That sort of nationalism is a reason sub-Saharan Africans are struggling to regain their history today. Not long ago such people were ONE. The Kreda, Gorane, Ikaraden have all been categorized as Teda or Tubu at one time or another even up until the colonial period.

Finally, there is no Tuareg girl in this post or the preceding one. If so, please point out where I posted a picture of a "Tuareg girl" and called her a Dazaga. If you are talking about the Teda/Tubu woman of Tabelot in Niger on the preceding post then you are wrong, or the site that it was taken from is wrong. I am not sure where you saw that she was designated a Tuareg woman (since she doesn't even look like one), or are you just assuming that from what she is wearing on her head?

Please post the source where it has been pointed out that this is "a Tuareg girl" and I will gladly replace the photo. : )

And come back soon in any case!

Allachi Ismail said...

Zaghawa of Chad, Libya and Sudan have no relationships to the Mali and in fact, Zaghawa are an extreme minority in the far eastern regions of Niger. Additionally, there is no such thing as a "Teda-Kreda." Kreda is a Daza clan while Teda is Toubou group. Gorane is used only by the Europeans to describe both groups but traditionally, Teda is Toubou and Daza is Gorane. You have your information all wrong. But why shouldn't you when all of the early explorers speculated as to the relationship of various peoples. All of the Kanuri peoples (Kanembu, some Hausa, Teda, Daza, Zaghawa) are all one group by language and genetics.

Dana W. Reynolds said...

Your second point was “…there is no such thing as a ‘Teda-Kreda.’ Kreda is a Daza clan, while Teda is Toubou group. Gorane is used only by the Europeans to describe both groups but traditionally, Teda is Toubou and Daza is Gorane. You have your information all wrong. But why shouldn't you when all of the early explorers speculated as to the relationship of various peoples”

Wahb ibn Munabbih, an Arabic speaking historian used the term Zaghawa for the entire Teda-Tibu group by the way in the 8th century, so we can’t attribute these misnomers – if they are such - exclusively to recent colonial misunderstandings or misinterpretations. In fact words like Gorane or Goran and Teda were first used by the Arabic writers generically, not by Europeans. If it is more politically appropriate today to say Kreda-Daza, I can modify that on my website. I agree, that Kreda are part of the Daza. although, apparently all of them are or were for the most part designated Toubou and Teda at one point in time. I think I went over this before with you.
(Names like Teda Goran/Quran, Gouramantche and Zaghawa date back to the Roman era and before and not all names were in existence among the groups of the Sahara in that era. So many of these dozens of clans Teda-Daza speakers were once known under a collective name as they are today regardless of political nationality or caste.)
One ethnologist writes about the Tebu - “TOUBOU or Tebu and Daza. These are a group of similar peoples, who are sometimes called Teda (pronounced tedd), after one people among them... the Dazaga language, however, is also used by both groups as the medium of their common way of life that they refer to as Teda culture.” (p. 178, David J. Philips 2001, People on the Move)

Dana W. Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana W. Reynolds said...

Hi Mr Allichi –

Thanks for stopping back and making comment. I’ll answer your points one at a time.
You first said - “Zaghawa of Chad, Libya and Sudan have no relationships to the Mali and in fact, Zaghawa are an extreme minority in the far eastern regions of Niger”

I didn’t believe I ever said or suggested modern Zaghawa groups dwelling in Chad and Libya and Sudan have relationship to Mali, but you can point that out to me if you’d like.

Dana W. Reynolds said...

Gustav Nachtigal, a colonialist scholar published a book in 1879 over a hundred years ago about the Africans he lived amongst and reported that the Tubu of Wadai were “called Kreda”, and those same Tubu in that period were still also designated “Teda.” (See p. 431 Gustav Nachtigal, 1971, Sahara and Sudan: Kanem, Kawar, Kanem, Borku, Enned. First published 1879)
But an African scholar more recently wrote on the Teda, “The Teda (pronounced Tedah), also known as Teda-too (Teda-tou), Tebou, Tebu, Tibbu, Tibou, Toda, Todaga, Todga, Toubou, Tubu, Tuda, Tudaga are presumably an Arabic nomadic and semi-nomadic people of the states of Chad, Libya, Niger and Sudan….Depending on the Arabic that is spoken. The Teda are divided into two main groups: The Teda and the Dazaga” (Muhammad Zuhdi Yakan, 1999, Almanac of African Peoples and Nations, p. 656). Unless this African author of an Almanac was influenced by colonial scholarship, evidently the Daza groups are still known as Teda in certain regions.

Furthermore, we can find the following stated in an article on Guran/Qoran refugees in a magazine or site called Sudan Vision. “The article also notes that ‘there are branches and groups of Gura’an that belong to the Zaghawa tribe’: Zaghawa are multi-tribal people with separate habitats that are connected only through language and religion. This cultural, tribal and geographical diversity was accompanied by multiple names. …In Libya, Zaghawa are known as “Tibo” which is a collective name that includes ‘Zaghawa’ and ‘Gura’an’. The Gura’an are quite different from Zaghawa, at least in respect of language, despite the fact that there are branches and groups of Gura’an that belong to the Zaghawa tribe. They speak the same Zaghawa language, though quite limitedly. It is quite possible that Zaghawa will have descended from the Tibo. The Zaghawa of North Darfur is a mixture of Hamitic Tibo and Negroes, with some ethnic relations with Libyans and Berbers” (Abdalla Ali, Professor Issam 2005, ‘Zaghawa Language and History’, Sudan Vision, 23 March.)

Are these Africans above wrong too about the use of the words Tibu and Teda for the Daza and Guran, or is something wrong with what you are trying to tell me? Surely you can understand where I coming from, Mr. Allachi. They are not the only ones recording this stuff. Perhaps we should start to consider that ethnic designations tend to change over time and vary depending on what region one is living in, often for political reasons (which I am fairly sure you are already familiar with). Otherwise, we wouldn’t have so many scholars that are acquiring and stating ethnic or historical designations that are - as you say - “wrong”.

Lastly you mentioned. “All of the Kanuri peoples (Kanembu, some Hausa, Teda, Daza, Zaghawa) are all one group by language and genetics.”

To that I have to say, I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic here or not, or if you are just agreeing with me. In any case, this last sentence is exactly what I’ve been saying in this blog about those very same populations. I doubt that they are called Kanembu everywhere though.

Feel free in any case to provide evidence of the information you deem “all wrong”. And, I look forward to hearing from you. : )