Dana Reynolds-Marniche provided several sources defining the original Berbers. Original Berbers here correspond with the Berbers imported into the Americas branded in slave legislation under the term “Negroes” in legislation like the Negro Law of South Caroline 1790. The distinction must be made because several groups now living in north Africa identity under designations that correspond with the term “Berber” such as the modern Amazigh tribes in North Africa.
Notably, Professor Marniche demonstrates that the pre-modern applications of the term “Amazigh” correspond with the Tamashek or Tuareg*, i.e. “Mazikes” and their vassal castes composed mainly of Songhai or Soninke, Zaghai or Ahel Gara (Jarawa) and that these peoples are the Ancient Ethiopians mentioned by the Greeks and Romans and that they correspond with the Mauri or Maure groups called “Mauri Mazazeces” and “Mazices” in Tripolitania of the Byzantine writers. Her blog also provides that:
“As for the Zaghawa, according to specialist Harold MacMichael “..witness is borne to this connection of the Zaghawa with the Berbers by Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) who in speaking of the Tuwarek (‘mulethamin” – “veiled ones”) says they are a section of the Sanhaga Berbers, who include the kindred tribes of the Lamtuna, Zaghawa, and Lamta, and have frequented the tracts separating the country of the Berbers from the blacks…” However, the word Ibn Khaldun used “Zanj” is here translated as “the blacks” and by doing so the reality that the Zaghawa were also pretty much black is obscured, as were the other Berbers named.”
” …in the old sources, the terms Berber, Sanhaja, Massufa, Lamtuna and Tuareg are often used interchangeably” Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle ( 2009). Timbuktu: The Sahara’s Fabled city of Gold, p. 271.”
“Clearly it seems that the “Barbares” or Soninke of the Sahel and Sudan were the “Mauri Bavares” or Babars of Mauritania in what is now Morocco and Algeria possibly pushed down by the Tuareg “the second race of Berbers” and/or Arab Sulaym/Hilal peoples like the Trarza or Hassaniya. They were direct ancestors of the black merchants known as Soninke, Sughai (Isuwaghen or Zawagha) or Wangara who are called “whites” in early African manuscripts.”
“The Bafour, in fact, is considered by some to be the same as the Zenagha or Znaga Berbers who came to be subject to the Almoravid (Tuareg) nobles. In Mauritania by the 15th century, they were referred to as “tawny and squat” by a slave trader from Venice named Alvice Ca’da Mosto (Thomas, Hugh, 1997, p. 22). They then fell into low caste status under the Hassaniyya or Hassan “Moors” (a group formed from the mixture of Arab/Berber peoples) which might explain how they came to be the first Africans sold out of Lagos to the Portuguese that were brought to Europe.”
In 1704 a Willem Bosman of the Dutch West India company describing the “Gold Coast” wrote
“Here the Portuguese received a small quantity of gold dust, as well as some ostrich eggs; and, as Gonçalves had always desired, his men also seized some black Africans, twelve in number, to take back to Portugal (“What a beautiful thing it would be,” this commander told his men, ‘if we could capture some of the natives to lay before the face of our Prince’).
These people were nearly all Azanaghi, as had been most of those sold in Lagos in 1444. They seem not to have been carried off to serve as slaves—though one of them, a woman, was a black slave, presumably from somewhere in the region of Guinea. They were taken as exhibits to show Prince Henry, much as Columbus would bring back some Indians, fifty years later, from his first journey to the Caribbean“
The previous statements give credence to the suggestion by earlier colonial historians that the Jarawa or Garawan of North Africa were the Wangara or Wakore of the Sudan, and that the name of Djanawa is in fact derived from the traditional Berber ancestor “Djana”. Yves Moderan in Les Maures et l”Afrique Romain has said they were agriculturalists having some pastoralists, rather than camel nomads. “D’une part, en effet, tous les Zénètes ne peuvent être assimilés à de grands nomades chameliers : les plus célèbres, les Djarâwa, étaient, nous l’avons vu, des agriculteurs autant que des pasteurs”. The Mauri and Roman Africa link
Dana Reynolds Marniche commented in a post on Andalusia that certain groups claimed descent from the Jews and in particular Aaron and Jethro in Tarikh el-Fattach
“The Tuareg Inaden blacksmiths caste who are mostly Soninke in fact claims descent from the Jews of Wargla. Similarly the Wangara/Garawan (Soninke) related groups further west and south had traditions of Jewish origin.
‘In today’s Mauretania, endogamous groups of blacksmiths claim Jewish descent and some oral traditions maintain that it’s early inhabitants, the Bafur, were Jews from Wadi Nun…. Other traditions from Mali document the prevalence of Jews in the pre-Islamic period, some claiming that Maghribi Jews from the Dra’a and the Sus regions shared with the Mande their knowledge of blacksmithing.
The History of African Jews, one of the most understudied chapters in African history, would extend back to the days of king Solomon…. By the eighth century there were communities of Jews in most major oases on the desert edge such as Sijilmasa, Tu’at, Gurara, Ghadamis, Sus, and Wadi Nun ” (Lydon, Ghislaine, 2009, p. 66). ‘”
The so-called Maghreb jews were the WaKore and Wa’Kara/Wa’n’Gara. Beriberi, Soninke, “El-Berabir” or the ancient Berbers, and the earliest Jews in Africa were but one people. They were the people of the Niger bend, and many parts of West Africa, i.e. the Negro. Believe it, – or do not!”
“The author of the the book Aghram Nadharif, (2003), “According to the stereotyped image, the Garamantes are a black people (e.g. Ptolemy, 1.8.5; cf. Snowden 2001: 260-261 with full bibliography; Mattingly 2003: 89), part of the larger ethnic group of the Aethiopes (Desanges and Camps 1985). They are naked (nudi Garamantes: Lucan, Bellum civile IV 334) and burned by the sun…” (Mariano, Liverani, 2003, p. 432). : Ahel Gara is a general Tuareg name for people that were cultivators, though often seminomadic found throughout North Africa, the Sahara and Sahel. They originally occupied places like Gara Mez- Zawaga in the Dahkhla Oasis west of the Nile and Gara Krima in the Wargla Oasis of the Mz’ab (Algeria) and towns named Garama or Jerma in Libya. These Djerma came to be known as DJerma or Zarma Songhai and were descendants of an ancient “Ethiopian” people named “Garamantes”. The author or the “Garamantian Kingdom and their Southern Border” writes: “According to the stereotyped image, the Garamantes are a black people (e.g. Ptolemy, I.8.5; cf. Snowden 2001: 260-261 with full bibliography; Mattingly 2003: 89), part of the larger ethnic group of the Aethiopes (Désanges and Camps 1985). They are naked (nudi Garamantes: Lucan, Bellum civile IV 334) and burned by the sun …” (Mariano, Liverani, 2003, p. 432).”