Filed under: Morocco
Many Berbers call themselves some variant of the word Imazighen (singular Amazigh), meaning “free men”. This is common in Morocco, but elsewhere within the Berber homeland a local, more particular term, such as Kabyle or Chaoui, is more often used instead. The Imazighen have lived in North Africa for thousands of years, long before the Phoenicians, Romans or Arabs arrived. They’ve survived a constant stream of foreign occupation with their culture and language intact.
The Imazighen are intermittently distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Between fourteen and twenty-five million live within this region, most densely in Morocco and becoming generally scarcer eastward through the rest of the Maghreb and beyond. They speak various Berber languages, which together form a branch of the Afroasiatic language family.
Now, for the band Imazighene… The person who sold me this record, said that they were from Algeria. But after I had asked a few people what they knew, I discovered that he must have had this band confused with the Algerian band Imazighen Imula, which was formed by Kabyle singer and political activist Ferhat Mehenni.
The only clue, other than the Moroccan record label, is the text on the record itself. Apparently, only Moroccan Imazighen use Arabic lettering. Algerian Imazighen, who are more radical and against Arab culture, tend to use Latin letters or Tifinagh, or even French.
What little I have been able to find out about the record label Boussiphone, is that it was founded by Saïd Boussif. The company would eventually become the production company Boussivision, which later changed its name to Tamgharet Ouragh.
Catalog number MB 197.70 on Boussiphone of Morocco. No other information is available.