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Chenouas

 

Chenouas

Chenouis
Regions with significant populations
Tipaza, Cherchell , Chlef , Tenes (Algeria) Dahra and Ouarsenis region.
Languages
Berber (Chenoua) , Algerian Arabic
Religion
Predominantly Sunni Muslim
Related ethnic groups
Berbers
View of Mount Chenoua.

The Chenouis – in Berber Ichenwiyen – constitute a Berber-speaking population of Algeria numbering more than 750,000 people principally located in Western-Central part of Algeria.

The traditional area from Fouka (Tipaza province) until Ténès (Chlef province).

Population

The Chenoui speaking population is traditionally composed of several tribes ; Chenoua (Tipaza), Gouraya (Tipaza), Beni Menacer (Cherchell), Beni Farah, Arib, Zouzoug (Ain Defla), Beni Haoua (Ténès) and the Bissa mounts (Chlef).

Berber language

The Chenoui language which is a Northern Berber language is closely related to the Shawiya language and Zenata varieties spoken by Berbers of the Aures mountains in Eastern Algeria and the Rif region.

Geographical distribution

Their traditional territory includes the province of Tipaza, parts of the Chlef province and the north of the province of Ain Defla, and thus are called in reference to the Mount Chenoua which dominates the city of Tipaza, 70 km west of Algiers.

The region is part of the greater Dahra region, a long mountainous region along the Meditternean coasts, separated from the Ouarsenis range by the Chelif river and its valley. It expands from 8 km north of Mostaganem until the Algiers Sahel with its highest point being Mount Zaccar (Miliana).

The Chenoua Mount region, highest point of the Algiers Sahel, is the most eastern part of the Chenoui speaking region going from Fouka (42 km west of Algiers) until Tenès (200 km west of Algiers) or even heading further west till ouled Boughalem in the past. Some people call them the Chelhas of the Tell or even Kabyles of the west.


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