“In this connection on account of the Jews of Waregla, given by Mr. Tristram in his recently published travels in the Sahara, is deserving mention. Waregla is an oasis in the desert, about north lat. 32 degrees, inhabited by a race believed by Mr. Tristam to be deeply stained with negro blood. The Jews have been settled there for ages.”
“They afford,” says he, “an interesting example of the effect of climate, which, in the course of generations, seems to have produced the dark colouring pigment. They were almost as black as negroes, much darker than their brethren of the M’zab and Wed R’hir; yet there was not the slightest trace of the negro features: all the lineaments were as distinctively Jewish as in any clothes-dealer in Houndsditch.”
“They were as dark as the black Jews of Abyssinia, whom I have seen in Jerusalem, but the hair, without being woolly, was grizzled and matteed. The Jews of Ghardaia, in the Wed M’zab, are also stated to be very dark, dark as Hindoos, but “with features intensely Jewish. On the other hand, Mr. Tristram found in and near Tuggurt a sept of Mussulmans, who never intermarry with the others, and who are very fair, with strongly marked Jewish features.”
“They are called Mahadjeriah and are said to be of the earliest date of settlement, who submitted to the Koran several centuries ago. Mr. Ginsberg (Jewish Intelligence, No. 308), who also met with these Hebrew Moslems, says that the characteristic signs of the Jewish face are very recognizable; and that in spite of the influence of climate, the Jew retains his white complexion, and forms a striking contrast to the native Arabs, and even Moors. “
“Those that remained in North Africa retained their black complexion although they had mixed with the incoming foreign peoples losing their Negroid features in some cases. Of course, it’s been interpreted as the other way around when in fact early Arab observers said they had become mixed with other non-African groups and were great proselytizers.”
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