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Mozabite people

Regions with significant populations
Algeria 150,000 Mozabite speakers (2007)[1]
Mozabite (Tumẓabt), Arabic
Ibadi Islam
Related ethnic groups
Other Berbers[2]

The Mozabite people are a Berber ethnic group living in M'zab in the northern Sahara in Algeria. They speak Mozabite (Tumẓabt), a branch of the Zenati group of Berber languages. Most also speak Arabic. Mozabites are Ibadi Muslims.

Mozabites live in five oases, namely, Ghardaïa, Beni Isguen, El Atteuf, Melika and Bounoura and two other isolated oases farther north: Berriane and Guerrara.


  • History 1
  • Language 2
  • Genetics 3
    • Y-DNA 3.1
    • mtDNA 3.2
  • References 4


Market on the main square, Ghardaia, Algeria

According to tradition the Ibadis, after their overthrow at Tiaret by the Fatimids, they took refuge during the 10th century in the country to the southwest of Ouargla. They founded an independent state there.

In 1012, owing to further persecutions, they fled to their present location, where they long remained invulnerable.

After the capture of Laghouat by France, the Mozabites concluded a convention with them in 1853, whereby they accepted to pay an annual contribution of 1,800 francs in return for their independence. In November 1882, the M'zab country was definitely annexed to French Algeria.

Ghardaïa (population of 93,423) is the capital of the confederacy, followed in importance by Beni Isguen (4,916), the chief commercial centre.

Since the establishment of French control, Beni Isguen has become the depot for the sale of European goods. The Mozabite engineers built a system of irrigation works that made the oases much more fertile than they used to be.


Berber-speaking areas of the M'zab, Ouargla, and Oued Righ

Mozabites speak Mozabite (Tumẓabt), a branch of the Zenati group of Berber languages.


Mozabite people are characterized by a very high level of North African haplogroups E1b1b1b (M81) (86%) and U6 (28%).


Y-Dna Nb A/B E(xE1b1b) E1b1b1 (M35) E1b1b1a (M78) E1b1b1b (M81) E1b1b1c (M123) F K G I J1 J2 R1a R1b Other Study
Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup 67 0 4.5% 0 1.5% 86.6% 1.5% 0 0 1.5% 0 1.5% 0 0 3% 0 Dugoujon et al. (2009)[3]


mtDna Nb Eurasian lineages sub-Saharan lineages (L) North African lineages (U6, M1) Study
Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup 85 54.1% 12.9% 33.0% Coudray et al. (2009)[4]


  1. ^ Tumzabt - Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Dugoujon J.M., Coudray C., Torroni A., Cruciani F., Scozzari F., Moral P., Louali N., Kossmann M. The Berber and the Berbers: Genetic and linguistic diversities. In: Become Eloquent. Edited by J.M. Hombert and F. d’Errico. Ed. John Benjamins. pp 123-146; 2009
  4. ^ "The complex and diversified mitochondrial gene pool of Berber populations". Ann. Hum. Genet. 73: 196–214. March 2009.  
  • A. Coyne, Le Mzab (Algiers, 1879); Rinn, Occupation du Mzab (Algiers, 1885)
  • Amat, Le M'Zab el les M'Zabites (Paris, 1888)
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