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Imurakuciyen - ⵉⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛⵉⵢⴻⵏ

Total population
~ 38M
Regions with significant populations
 Morocco 33,403,000[1]
 France 1,514,000[2][3][4]
 Spain 754,080[5]
 Israel 686,600[6]
 Italy 506,000[7]
 Belgium 450,000[8]
 Netherlands 368,662 (2013)[9]
 Germany 102,000[10]
 Canada 120,000[11]
 United States 77,468[12]
 Canada 66,000[13]
 Saudi Arabia 43,216
 Kuwait 21,843
 Sweden 20,000
 Australia 15,000
 Denmark 15,000
  Switzerland 13,500
 United Arab Emirates 7,400
Moroccan Arabic
Predominantly Sunni Islam and Sufi Islam
minority Christianity[14] Judaism and Atheism.

The Moroccan people (Berber: Imurakuciyen, ⵉⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛⵉⵢⴻⵏ, Arabic: المغاربة‎, al-Maghaaribah, Moroccan Arabic: Lemgharba) are a people that share a common Moroccan culture, ancestry and speak the Moroccan variant of the Arabic language or a Berber language as a mother tongue.

In addition to the 35 million Moroccans in Morocco, there are large migrant populations in France, Belgium, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Libya, and smaller groups in United Kingdom, United States and Canada (see Moroccan diaspora).

Because of wide-ranging diaspora, about estimated 5 million Moroccans living abroad and of full or partial Moroccan ancestry live outside of Morocco, most notably in Europe, Israel, North America and many Berber-speaking countries like Algeria and Libya, and in Arabic-speaking countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait amongst others.

Berber genetic identity

Almost all Moroccans descend from Berbers, exactly like the neighboring Algerians and Mauritanians. The Berbers are the prehistoric populations of Morocco and are related to the wider group of Paleo-Mediterranean peoples.

The Afroasiatic family may have originated in the mesolithic period, perhaps in the context of the Capsian culture.[15][16] DNA analysis has found commonalities between Berber Moroccan populations and those of the Sami people of Scandinavia showing a link dating from around 9,000 years ago.[17] By 5000 BC, the populations of Morocco are an amalgamation of Ibero-Maurisian and a minority of Capsian stock blended with a more recent intrusion associated with the Neolithic revolution.[18] Out of these populations, the proto-Berber tribes form during the Late Paleoltihic Era.[19]

First settlers

According to the leading evolutionary theory of human origins, known as the Out of Africa theory, anatomically modern humans first emerged in Africa 150,000-200,000 years ago. All non-Africans are descended from at least one group of humans who migrated out of Africa into western Asia 50,000-70,000 years ago. The first modern humans in Europe, the Cro-Magnon, arrived from North-west Africa and are believed to have completely replaced the previous inhabitants, the Neanderthals. Cro-Magnons are known as Ibero-Maurisians or Mechta-Afalou People, they were in Morocco by 45,000 years ago or Probably they were Evolved from The Aterians, the Cro-Magnon people had populated much of North Africa. There was a massive major human migration from Morocco and this paleolithic population was weakly Mixed by later Capsian migrations during the Neolithic Era, this Prehistoric Population still survived and isolated in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco known until our days as Berbers.

Y-chromosome DNA

Recent studies make clear no significant genetic differences exist between Arabic and non-Arabic speaking populations, The human leukocyte antigen HLA DNA data suggest that most Moroccans are of a Berber origin and that Arabs who invaded North Africa and Spain in the 7th century did not substantially contribute to the gene pool.[20][21] The Muslim refugees from Iberia settled in the coast-towns.[22] According to a 2000 article in European Journal of Human Genetics, Moroccans from North-Western Africa were genetically closer to Iberians than to Sub-Saharan Africans of Bantu Ethnicity and Middle Easterners.[23]

The different loci studied revealed close similarity between the Berbers and other north African groups, mainly with Moroccan Arabic-speakers, which is in accord with the hypothesis that the current Moroccan population has a strong Berber background.[24]

The E1b1b1 clade is presently found in various forms in Morocco. Total E1b1b1 (E-M35) frequencies reached at 93.8% in Moroccans [25]

E1b1b1b1(E-M81), formerly E1b1b1b, E3b1b, and E3b2, is the most common Y chromosome haplogroup in Morocco, dominated by its sub-clade E-M183. This haplogroup reaches a mean frequency of 100% to 50% In North Africa, decreasing in frequency from approximately 85% or more in Moroccan Berber populations, including Saharawis, to approximately 25% to the east of this range in Egypt. Because of its prevalence among these groups and also others such as Mozabite, Riffians, Chleuhs, Middle Atlas, Kabyle and other Berber groups, it is sometimes referred to as a genetic Berber marker.

This phylogenetic tree of The Berber haplogroup subclades is based on the YCC 2008 tree and subsequent published research as summarized by ISOGG.[26][27][28]

  • E1b1b1b (L19, V257)
    • E1b1b1b1 (M81)
      • E1b1b1b1a (M107) Underhill et al. (2000).
      • E1b1b1b1b (M183) This clade is extremely dominant within E-M81. In fact, while Karafet et al. (2008) continues to describe this as a sub-clade of E-M81, and ISOGG defers to Karafet et al., all data seems to imply that it should actually be considered phylogenetically equivalent to M81
        • E1b1b1b1b1 (M165) Underhill et al. (2000).
        • E1b1b1b1b2 (L351) Found in two related participants in The E-M35 Phylogeny Project.

Average North African Moroccan Berbers have frequencies of E3b3 in the +80%. Alvarez et al.(2009) study shows a frequency of E3b1b of 28/33 or 84.8% in Berbers from Marrakesh. With the rest of the frequencies being 1/33=3% E3a*, 1/33=3% E3b*, 1/33 or 3% E3b1a, and 1/33 or 3% E3b1c.[25]

The most basal and rare E-M78* paragroup has been found at lower frequencies in Moroccan Arabs. The sub-clade: E1b1b1a1d (E-V65), is found in high levels in the Maghreb regions of far northern Africa. Cruciani et al. (2007) report levels of about 20% amongst Libyan Arab lineages, and about 30% amongst Moroccan Arabs. It appears to be less common amongst Berbers, but still present in levels of >10%. The authors suggest a North African origin for this lineage. In Europe, only a few individuals were found in Italy and Greece. Capelli et al. (2009) studied the beta cluster in Europe. They found small amounts in Southern Italy, but also traces in Cantabria, Portugal and Galicia, with Cantabria having the highest level in Europe in their study, at 3.1% (5 out of 161 people).

Other frequencies of E1b1b1a1c (E-V22) is reported by Cruciani et al. (2007) include Moroccan Arabs (7.27%, 55 people) and Moroccan Jews (8%, 50 people).

Concerning E-M123 without checking for the E-M34 SNP is found at small frequencies in Morocco A Low regional percentages for E-M123 was reported in Moroccan Berbers around 3%.

Population Language n E1b1a E1b1b G I  J L N R1a R1b T Reference
Arabs (Morocco) AA (Semitic) 44 85 0.0 0.0 3.8 Pericic et al. 2005[29]
Arabs (Morocco) AA (Semitic) 49 85.5 2.4 Semino et al. 2004[30]
Berbers (Marrakesh) AA (Berber) 29 92.9 Semino et al. 2000[31]
Berbers (Moyen Atlas) AA (Berber) 69 87.1 Cruciani et al. 2004[32]
Berbers (southern Morocco) AA (Berber) 40 2.5 85 0 2.5 0 0 0 Bosch et al. 2001[33]
Berbers (North Central Morocco) AA (Berber) 40 0 93.8 0 0 0 0 0 Alvarez et al. 2009[25]
Berber Riffians (North Morocco) AA (Berber) 54 0 95.9 0 0 0 0 0 Dugoujon et al. (2005)[34]
Beni Snassen (Northern Morocco) AA (Berber)&(Semitic) 67 0 95.1 0 0 0 0 0 Dugoujon et al. (2005)[34]

Eurasian haplogroups such as Haplogroup J and Haplogroup R1 have also been observed at very minimal frequencies. A thorough study by Cruciani et al. (2004) which analyzed populations from Morocco concludes that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation (including both J1 and R1b haplogroups) is largely of Neolithic origin, which suggests that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Berber-speaking pastoralists from the Algerian Desert into Eastern Morocco, although later papers have suggested that this date could have been as longas ten thousand years ago, with the transition from the Oranian to the Capsian culture in North Africa.[35][36]

Haplogroups G and T are rarely found in Morocco, In 147 samples taken in Morocco, 1% were found to be G.[37]

In another study 1% of 312 samples in Morocco were G.[38]

Another study gathered samples only from hamlets in Morocco's Azgour Valley, where none of 33 samples were determined G.[39] These hamlets were selected because they were felt to be typically Berber in composition.

A study of 20 Moroccan Jews found 30% were G.[40] The tested men were then apparently living in Israel. Another study of Jewish men found 19.3% of 83 Jewish men from Morocco belonged to haplogroup G.[41] over G Moroccan samples are Likely Positive on the SNP G2a2b Haplogroup, it has been identified in neolithic human remains in Europe dating between 5000-3000BC. Furthermore, the majority of all the male skeletons from the European Neolithic period have so far yielded Y-DNA belonging to this haplogroup like the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman, The National Geographic Society places haplogroup G origins in the Middle East 30,000 years ago and presumes that people carrying the haplogroup took part in the spread of the Neolithic into Africa and then Europe [42] Two percent of Arab Moroccans and 0% to 8% of Berber Moroccans of Asni Oasis were likewise found to be G.[43]

Haplogroup T is found amongst central berbers of Asni Oasis near the Algerian frontiers at 1,9% and observed in moroccan jews at 4%.

E1b1a is found at low frequencies in Morocco these lineages are found in some specific areas specially around the Great Desert Linked to the Slavery trade across the sahara like the presence of Haratins or Gnawa amongst Berbers of Asni Oasis located in North central Morocco near the Algerian frontiers, Sahrawis, Moroccan Arabs and in Southern Morocco.[44]

Haplogroup A1a is observed in southern and central Moroccan berbers at 3%. related to the Homo-sapien Presence in North-west African Aterian and Mousterian Industries, one of The oldest Human branching event, is thought to have occurred about 140,000 years ago.[45]

The most basal and rare E1a* paragroup has been found at lower frequencies in samples obtained from Moroccan Berbers, and Sahrawis. dated around 45.000BC Linked to Back-Eurasian Migration from the near east into North Africa along together with E1b1b during the Paleolithic Times.[46]

Ethnic groups and ancestry

Main articles: Berber people and Arabs

Though the majority of the population is of Berber origin many Moroccans today identify as Arabs. Culturally and genetically the Moroccan population is very homogenous, the distinction between Arabs and Berbers unaccounted for in the society; it can, however, be made along linguistic lines. Assuming that it is possible to separate Arabs from Berbers in Morocco, Arabic speakers are believed to be about 66% of the Moroccan population, although this includes people of Berber or mixed descent.

Classical Arabic is one of the official languages of Morocco, alongside Berber and is used in limited socio-economic and cultural activities and written newspapers. In July 2011, "Amazigh", a standardized version of all the Berber languages of Morocco, became an official language alongside Arabic.

There has been many influxes of populations in Morocco; first the Phoenicians and Romans in pre-Islamic periods, then the Arab immigrations in the 8th and 11th-century and finally the Slave trade from Europe and sub-Saharan Africa that occurred throughout the middle-ages up to the 19th-century.

Morocco had in the past a significant Jewish population, but the majority immigrated to Israel, Europe and North America since the country's independence. There are only about 5,000 Jews who still live in the country.

Berber groups


Main article: Culture of Morocco

Through Moroccan history, the country had many cultural influences (Europe, middle-east and sub-Saharan Africa). The culture of Morocco shares similar traits with that of neighboring countries, particularly Algeria and Tunisia and to a certain extent Spain.

Each region possesses its own uniqueness, contributing to the national culture. Morocco has set among its top priorities the protection of its diversity and the preservation of its cultural heritage.

The traditional dress for men and women is called djellaba; a long, loose, hooded garment with full sleeves. For special occasions, men also wear a red cap called a bernousse, more commonly referred to as a Fez. Women wear kaftans decorated with ornaments. Nearly all men, and most women, wear balgha (بلغه) —- soft leather slippers with no heel, often dyed yellow. Women also wear high-heeled sandals, often with silver or gold tinsel.

Moroccan style is a new trend in decoration which takes its roots from Moorish architecture, it has been made popular by the vogue of Riads renovation in Marrakech. Dar is the name given to one of the most common types of domestic structures in Morocco, is a home found in a medina, or walled urban area of a city. Most Moroccan homes traditionally adhere to the Dar al-Islam, a series of tenets on Islamic domestic life. Dar exteriors are typically devoid of ornamentation and windows, except occasional small openings in secondary quarters, such as stairways and service areas. These piercings provide light and ventilation.

Moroccan cuisine is home to Berber, Moorish, and Arab influences. It is known for dishes like couscous, pastilla, and others. Spices such as cinnamon are used in Moroccan cooking. Sweets like halwa are popular, as well as other sweets. Cuisines from neighbouring countries also influence the country's culinary traditions.

Moroccan craftsmanship has a rich tradition of jewellery, pottery, leather-work and woodwork

The music of Morocco ranges and differs according to the various areas of the country, Moroccan music has a variety of styles from complex sophisticated orchestral music to simple music involving only voice and drums . There are three varieties of Berber folk music: village and ritual music, and the music performed by professional musicians. Chaabi الشعبي is a music consisting of numerous varieties which descend from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music. Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting. Gnawa is a form of music that is mystical. It was gradually brought to Morocco by Sub-Saharan Africans and later became part of the Moroccan tradition. Sufi brotherhoods (tarikas) are common in Morocco, and music is an integral part of their spiritual tradition. This music is an attempt at reaching a trance state which inspires mystical ecstasy.


Main article: Languages of Morocco

Morocco's official languages are Classical Arabic and since July 2011, also "Amazigh language" which is a standardized version of the Berber languages.

The majority of the population natively speaks Moroccan-Arabic. More than 12 million Moroccans speak Berber — which exists in Morocco in three different dialects (Riff, Shilha, and Central Atlas Tamazight) — either as a first language or bilingually with Moroccan Arabic.

The Hassaniya Arabic is spoken in the southern part of country. Morocco has recently included the protection of Hassaniya in the constitution as part of the July 2011 reforms.

French is taught universally and still serves as Morocco's primary language of commerce and economics; it is also widely used in education and government.

Spanish is also spoken by some in the northern part of the country as a foreign language. Meanwhile English, is increasingly becoming more popular among the educated particularly in the science fields.

See also


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