Introduction / History
The Tidikelt Tamzight are one of many groups of Berbers. The Berbers are a North African people group who were conquered by Muslim invaders in the seventh century. The name Berber, which is derived from the Latin word "barbarian," was given to them by the Romans in the third century A.D. Today, the term 'Berber' refers to any native speaker of one of the Berber languages. Most refer to themselves as the Imazighen, which means "men of noble origin." Berbers are generally bilingual, speaking both their Berber dialect and Arabic. The Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers have two dialects but it is a dying language; most speak Algerian Arabic instead. Arab Muslims conquered the Berber homeland between 670 and 700 A.D. However, their influence was limited and the Tidikelt Tamzight and other Berber tribes have managed to sustain and preserve their own language, culture, customs, and social organization. The Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers live mainly in Algeria's Tamanrasset Province.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Berber dress is very similar to that of the Arabian community. The men wear the traditional djellaba cloak, which is made of cotton with wide sleeves and a hood. They also wear cotton turbans or caps. For the Berber, life revolves around important ceremonies such as births, marriages and deaths. Many rites of passage are important parts of their culture as well, such as the first haircut and circumcision for boys. The most elaborate of all is the marriage ceremony. The Tidikelt Tamzight, like other Berbers, live in a society that is male-dominated. The line of descent is traced through the fathers and all inheritances are passed down through the males.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Although they accepted Islam as a new religion, the Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers also maintained their pre-Islamic cultural and ritual traditions. The acceptance of Islam and the adoption of Arabic ways never completely erased Berber culture. Although they are nominally Sunni Muslims, most Tidikelt Tamzight have little knowledge of the practices of the Koran and other dimensions of Orthodox Islam. For example, Berber men often use verses from the Koran as part of their protective amulets. For historical reasons, Berbers are more likely to accept Christ than Arabs, who hold Islam as a central part of their identity.
What Are Their Needs?
Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers need the chance to put their identity in Jesus Christ and enjoy his blessings in this life and in the life to come.
Pray for Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers to put their faith and hope in Christ, paving the way for a Disciple Making Movement. Pray for a spiritual hunger among Tidikelt Tamzight Berbers that will lead them to the cross and the empty grave. Pray for workers to go to the Tidikelt Tamzight and find persons of people who will welcome them into their communities with the gospel of peace.
Scripture Prayers for the Berber, Tidikelt Tamzight in Algeria.