Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada: Délibérations de la Société By Royal Society of Canada

“The Berber Languages of Norther Africa, as I shall yet demonstrate, are Celtic at base, although they contain Arabic words, more or less changed by their peculiar genius as wehn the Arabic midina, a town, becomes the Berber thamdint. Among these Berbers are tribes called Zimuhr and Aimor, names that link the Cymir and the Aymaras. But more important is the fact that the Peruvian pronouns, which are neither Celtic (that is Cymric proper and Gaelic) nor Basque, are Berber. Here is evidence of no common order that Peru was colonized by the Berber stock in conjunction with an Iberic people, of which there is no present trace in Africa…..When Columbus landed on the islands of whence he took sailors and animals, he found there a living tradition of a new world in the west. He sailed by the island Gomera, which retains the Cymric name, and has a port Amirri, linking the Zimurh and Aimor of Barbary with the Aymaras of Peru.” (208)

“The Berber and the Celtic agree in prepositional structure, in pronominal suffixes, in the verb substantive, in the adventitious prefix and even affix of the letter t, and in medial vowel changes as puzzling as the Welsh. As for the vocabulary, I append a list of a hundred and forty different Berber words with their Celtic equivalents. Of these thirty-two are Guanche. The others, Berber, Shelluh, Siwahan, Showiah, Tuarick and Tibboo, I have denoted by B., S., Si., Sh., T. and Ti., and the Guanche by G. They are the remains of the ancient Numidians, who were identical with the Nemedians of Irish history.” (235)

“The Cymric element was strong in the Berber stock. Leo Africanus called them Gumeri, which Pegot Ogier compares with Gomera, the name of one of the Canary islands. Jackson in his account of Timbuctoo and Housa, etc., says of the Zimurh Shelluhs: “They are a fine race of men, well grown, and good figures; they have a noble prescence and their physiognomy resembles the ancient Romans.” He also speaks of another clan, the Ait Amor, as of a warlike spirit, the English of Barbary. “When the Sultan Muhamed began a campaign, he never entered the field without a warlike Ait Amor, who marched in the rear of the army; these people received no pay, but were satisfied with what plunder they got after a battle; and accordingly, this principle stimulating them, they were always foremost in any contest, dispute or battle.” (235)

“Otherwise the vocabularies have little in common. Nevertheless, I have added a comparative table of Adaize words with possible equivalents, not only Celtic, Berber, and Peruvian, but also Yuman, Pujunan and Kulanapan, for the benefit of those who are interested in matters philological. In so small a vocabulary, consisting in all of sixty-eight words, it is contrary to the doctrine of chances to find over ten Beber coincidences, if the vocabularies have no vital relation to each other. The Adaizan okhapin, bread, gasing, brother, caput, earth, anuack, face, housing, flesh, ganie, heaven, ahasuck, leg, amanie, mother, tlola, mount, and toucat, snow, answer to the Berber gofio, ygooma, tamouts, enguddi, aksoume, ginna, ighas, mamma, athraar, and edifil.” (258)

“The Berber word for the number ten is markoum, but the Pujunan markum denotes five. The explanation of the difference is found in an old Celtic root, the Erse mear, meirceann, which denotes a finger or the fingers.”  (256)

Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada: Délibérations de la Société … By Royal Society of Canada

The Races of Man: An Outline of Anthropology and Ethnography By Joseph Deniker

Trarza Moor of the Senegal


“The nomadic or settled Moors of the western Sahara, extending from Morocco to the Senegal (the Traza, the Brakna, etc.) speak Arabic and “Zenagha,” which is a Berber dialect.” “These are Berbers more or less crossed with Negro blodd. It must further be observed that the name of Moors is very wrongly applied to the Mussulmun inhabitants of the towns of Algeria and Tunis and to the Riffians of Morocco.”” The Fellaheen, Mussulmans (635,600 in 1894) of the lower valley of the Nile (as far as the first cataract), mixed descendants of the ancient Egyptians, must be included among the Arabo-Berbers because they have preserved intact the type of the primitive Egyptians, fundamentally Ethiopian, so well represented on various monuments in the valley of the Nile.”



“The ancient Egyptian language is preserved, however, under the form of the Coptic dialect which, until quite recent times, served as the liturgicial language to the Christian section of the inhabitnts of lower Egypt, known by the name of the Copts (5000,000 in 1894; cephalic index 76, according to Chantre). We must likewise add to the Arabo-Berber group the Barabara (in the singular Berberi) inhabiting to the number of about 180,000 the part of the Nile Valley situated between the first and fourth cataract.” 



“The peoples living between the Hausa on the east and the Mandingans on the west are still little known, and seem to be much mixed. Quite to the north, in the bend of the Niger, below Timbuctoo, are found the Songhai or Sonrhays, who speak a language apart, and in the north are mixed with the Ruma “Moors,” emigrants from Morocco, and in the south with the Fulahs.



“The true zone in which the cowry circulates is, however, tropical Africa; the fact is explained by its rarity, for the shell not being known in the Atlantic, it is only by commercial relations that it could have been propagated from east to west across the continent, from Zanzibar to the Senegal, and these commercial relations must have existed for a long period, for Cadmosto and other Portuguese travellers of the fifteenth century mention the use of the cowry as money among the “Moors” of the Senegal.”

Source: The Races of Man: An Outline of Anthropology and Ethnography By Joseph Deniker

American Colonization Society: The Bornu People were of Berber Origin

“At this period his territory did not extend to the northern bend of the Niger, which was occupied by Berbers. Jenne, the town which M. Dubois describes in his interesting book on “Timbuctoo the Mysterious” as still at the present day constituting a bit of Egypt in the heart of the desert, is said by the Arabs to have been founded by pagans in the year 800 (the year in which Egbert ascended the English throne), and was specially famed as the resort of the learned. Timbuctoo was founded by Berbers in the year 1087, about twenty-five years later than the town Morocco, and was never sullied by pagan worship. As the march of ancient Egyptian civilization can be traced through Negroland, moving gradually from east to west, so the march of this relatively modern Arab civilization can be traced steadily from west to east.”

“Thus we have come gradually eastward to our own territory of Nigeria, where the Hausa States, probably of mixed Berber and Coptic origin, were founded at a period of which the narrative takes us back to mythical history.  The Berber state of Audaghost, lying northwest in the desert, paid tribute to Ghana up to the middle of the eleventh century. The Bornu people were also of Berber origin, illustrating, like the Hausas and the mixed people of Ghana and the Berbers of Timbuctoo, that pressure of the northern races upon the fertile belt of which I have spoken.”

“Dugu appears to have been the name of the first sultan of any modern dynasty of which we have continuous records. He resigned about 850, and toward the end of the eleventh century, Bornu would seem to have been in some way the suzerain of the Hausa States. The earliest of Arab writers speak of the kingdom as spreading between the Niger and Lake Chad. It also included Kanem, on Lake Chad, at that time pagan, though at a later period it accepted Islam and produced distinguished men.”

“A black poet from Kanem is spoken of as enjoying considerable success at the Spanish court of one of the Almoravide sultans. Bornu appears as early as 1489 on Portuguese maps. In the early part of the sixteenth century, their kings maintained regular diplomatic relations with Tripoli and the outer world.”

“I have kept you already too long in speaking of these five divisions of Negroland-Ghana, Melle, Songhay, Hausa, and Bornu–in the northern portion of the Negro belt. There were many others of secondary importance, but these were the kingdoms which in turn were most directly exposed to Berber influence and rose to the most decided preeminence during what may be called our own historic times.”

“The mystery of the decadence of peoples is among the great operations of nature for which we have no explanation. The civilization of Negroland was inspired in the first instance by Egypt. It disappeared as the power of Egypt declined. It rose again with the rise of the western Arabs; it fell with their fall. The power of the Moors was destroyed in Spain, and the onward pressure of the at that time very partially civilized Christian nations had nothing to substitute for the highly cultivated standard of Arabian life. Gradually the African Arabs were driven out of Europe, and there began a reflex action of Europe upon Africa. The end of the fifteenth century saw the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope. The navigation of the Atlantic became general, and a wholly new chapter of foreign influence in West Africa was initiated.”

“The European coast colonies came into existence, but they were founded for the most part in the midst of the very lowest class of pagan natives. It is impossible for me to speak of them tonight. At the same time, the higher civilizations of the northern edge of Negroland was destroyed by the decadent Moors, who feeling the pressure of Europe upon their shores, overran the center of North Africa about the year 1592, and established by force of arms a purely brutal military domination.”

Source: Liberia, Issues 19-27