Are the moors and berbers one of the same people?

If they are, why the name difference? If they are not who came first and who came from where?

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  • 1 year ago
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    The continent of Africa is inhabited by many, many distinct groups, but if you can basically divide it roughly in half and notice that most of the groups south of the River Senegal on the west and the Gulf of Aden on the east are dark skinned, agrarian and pastoral, village-centered, and pedestrian. You can notice that most of the groups north of that line are commerical, martial, nomadic (or city-builders), and go about mounted, but some are light and some are dark. Some have described the two sides as having "Arab" build and features in the north and "Bantu" build and features in the south. But that is an over-simplification, especially in the Sahara.

    In the north, the closer you look, the more and more subdivisions and specializations there are between and within the many groups of these people. There are language differences and there are cultural differences. The words that you ask about are actually designations awarded by Europeans to strangers that they met or fought against, so they don't really relate to either language or cultural groups. "Berber", for example, is a European word that comes from the same Greek root that provides us with "barbarian". "Moor" is a corruption of one particular North African ethnicity called the "Maur", (as in modern-day Mauritania). So those words are actually dated descriptions that have nothing to do with the cultures or origins of the folks they are applied to.

    For people obsessed with facial features and skin colour, language studies are most comfortable, but really they only show the unsurprising fact that semitic languages and features spread across the Mediterranean coast, down the Atlantic side, and penetrated the Sahara along trade routes. The faces you will see in those areas will be more Arabic and the languages you will hear will be Semitic - although the cultures will be as described above for the northern part of the continent. In the central area and along the southern edge you will generally find more "Bantu"-looking faces and the languages you hear will be Chadian or Saharan, but the culture will be (at least superficially) exactly the same as you find in the Arab-infused perimeter.

    All in all, above the River Senegal - Gulf of Aden line, there exist over 200 ethnic/tribal groups. Most of them don't know where they came from or which other groups they are related to (if any). Some, like the Fulani, are complete mysteries, appearing everywhere across the region in small clusters, with no apparent beginning point. I'll attach a link to an ethno-linguistic map that Harvard University maintains.

    In short, "Moor" and "Berber" don't really describe any one "people" They are old, uninformed descriptions applied in the days when Europeans didn't know much about anyone in North Africa. The actual "peoples" of North Africa are far more complex.

    Source(s): http://worldmap.harvard.edu/africamap/ Sorry for delay...my screen froze up & I had to reboot.
    • Jerome
      Lv 6
      1 year agoReport

      Great answer.

      Thanks.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    As far as I'm aware, Berbers were indigenous North Africans (tanned Caucasoids like the ancient Libyans). The Moors were Berbers who adopted Islam as their religion. So, they were the same people with different religions.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    original berbers were black, the moors were black i have so much proof.even in spain they have paintings and museums dedicated 2 moors they were black

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  • Magui
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    Moors was the name given to Arabs or Arabized people back in the Middle Ages which invaded Europe. They were also called Sarracens.

    Berbers or Amazigh are the native people of the Magrebh.

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    • Lv 5
      1 year agoReport

      PC: They are African by Geography. Not *******, no. Just like Wilbur Smith, a white man from Johannesburg, is an African.

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  • abdul
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Moors are citizens of Morocco. Morocco is a nation. Berbers are a nomadic tribal group who can be from anywhere in that region.

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    The original Moors who settled in Spain were Berbers (a tribe from the Maghreb- North Africa from where we also get the word Barbary) - the term then became generally applied to any Arab-Muslims who settled in Europe.

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    "Moors" was just a general term used to refer to Muslims long ago. So, Berbers, being Muslims, would have been called Moors. So would other Muslim peoples.

    Berbers are Arabic-speaking North Africans.

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    • Lv 5
      1 year agoReport

      Moors were from Morocco. It has come to mean most N. African Caucasians, their ethnicity, not actual color. Some Arabs are pretty fair (Circassians--where Caucasian came rom.)

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