Smith’s Bible Dictionary
(double fruitfulness), the second son of Joseph by his wife Asenath. (B.C. 1715-1708.) The first indication we have of that ascendancy over his elder brother Manasseh which at a later period the tribe of Ephraim so unmistakably possessed is in the blessing of the children by Jacob. (Genesis 48:1) …
ATS Bible Dictionary
The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt, Genesis 41:52. Although the youngest, he yet had the chief blessing of his grandfather Jacob, and the tribe was always more distinguished than that of Manasseh, Genesis 48:8-20 Numbers 2:18-21. The portion of Ephraim was large and central, and embraced some of the most fertile land in all Canaan. It extended from the Mediterranean across to the Jordan, north of the portions of Dan and Benjamin and included Shiloh, Shechem, etc. A range of mountainous country, which runs through it, is called “the mountains of Ephraim,” or “mount Ephraim.” This extends also farther south into the portion of Judah, and is there called “the mountains of Judah.” Samaria, the capital of the ten tribes, being in Ephraim, this latter name is often used for the kingdom of Israel, Isaiah 11:13 Jeremiah 31:6 50:19.
The FOREST of Ephraim, where Absalom lost his life, was on the east side of the Jordan, near Mahanaim, 2 Samuel 18:6-8.
The TOWN called Ephraim, to which the Savior withdrew from his enemies, John 11:54, was probably the same place mentioned in 2 Chronicles 13:19, and called Ophrah in Joshua 18:23 1 Samuel 13:17. See also 2 Samuel 13:23. It is supposed to be the present Taiyibeh, on a hill overlooking the Jordan valley, five miles northeast of Bethel.
Link to below post
Study by: Rob Skiba
In the prior post, I laid the foundation for what was going on before and immediately after the Flood as it pertains to the ancient gods. I also showed you what they did that so provoked the God of Heaven to destroy a world that had already been thoroughly corrupted. The Pre-Flood world was an amazing and terrifying place full of hybrids. Our world is turning into the same thing today. But Yeshua warns us:
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” – Matthew 24:21-22
God HAD to step in during the days of Noah in order to preserve mankind, the animals, plants and even the planet itself from the corruption of the gods. Consider how bad it was during the time of the Flood, then consider carefully what Yeshua (Jesus) has to say about the days ahead.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. – Luke 21:25-2
We next need to look at the Sumerian family of gods (which became that of the Assyrians and Babylonians) .
Wikipedia notes that the Sumerian religion refers to the mythology, pantheon, rites and cosmology of the Sumerian civilization, further stating:
The Sumerian religion influenced Mesopotamian mythology as a whole, surviving in the mythologies and religions of the Hurrians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and other culture groups.
Thus, the Sumerian/Assyrian/Babylonian beliefs are often lumped into the title, “Mesopotamian” as they all centered around that same region of the globe. Concerning the Mesopotamian religion Wikipedia goes on to say:
Some, such as the historian Jean Bottero, have made the claim that the Mesopotamian religion is the worlds oldest faith although there are several other claims to that title. Although as writing was invented in Mesopotamia, it is certainly the oldest faith in written history. What we know about Mesopotamian religion comes from archaeological evidence uncovered in the region, particularly literary sources, which are usually written in cuneiform on clay tablets and which describe both mythology and cultic practices. However, other artifacts can also be used as the Mesopotamians’ “entire existence was infused by their religiosity, just about everything they have passed on to us can be used as a source of knowledge about their religion.”
Although it mostly died out 1600 to 1700 years ago, Mesopotamian religion has still had an influence on the modern world, predominantly because much Biblical mythology that is today found in Judaism,Christianity, Islam and Mandeanism shares some overlapping consistency with much older ancient Mesopotamian myths, in particular the Creation Myth, the Garden of Eden, The Great Flood, Tower of Babel and mythical Biblical characters such as Nimrod and Lilith (the Assyrian Lilitu). In addition the story of Moses’ origins shares a striking similarity with that of Sargon of Akkad, and the Ten Commandments mirror older Assyrian-Babylonian legal codes to some degree. It has also inspired various contemporary Neopagan groups to begin worshipping the Mesopotamian deities once more, albeit in a way often different from that of the Mesopotamian peoples.
Note what Wikipedia has to say about Mesopotamia’s history
The peoples of Mesopotamia originally consisted of two peoples, the Semitic Akkadians (later to be known as Assyrians and Babylonians) and the Sumerians. These peoples were not originally one united nation, but members of various different city-states. In the fourth millennium BCE, when the first evidence for what is recognizably Mesopotamian religion can be seen with the invention in Mesopotamia of writing circa 3,500 BCE, the Sumerians appeared, although it is not known if they migrated into the area in pre historic times or whether they were some of the original inhabitants. They settled in southern Mesopotamia, which became known as Sumer, and had a great influence over the Semitic Akkadian peoples and their culture. The Sumerians were incredibly advanced, as well as inventing Writing, they also invented Mathematics, Wheeled Vehicles, Astronomy, Astrology, The Calendar and created the first City States/Nations such as Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Isin, Umma and Larsa. In the north, in an area known as Akkad, a civilisation known as the Akkadian arose, who spoke a semitic language that was distinct from that of the Sumerians who spoke a language isolate.
So, the earliest evidence of any civilization seems to point to the 3,500 BC timeframe. Wikipedia says that the Sumerians were “incredibly advanced” and that they invented writing, mathematics and all sorts of other sciences and innovations. Well, look at what happened in 3,500 BC (in the chart above). According to the Book of Enoch, that’s when the Watchers showed up! Enoch also records that the Fallen taught men those very things listed above (and more)!
Thus, I believe that the Anunnaki – a race so named because they were “Princess of the Royal (genetic) Seed” (or some translate it as, “Those who from heaven to earth came”) – were the “sons of God” or the Sumerian equivalent of the giant Greek Titans, the Hebrew Watchers and Pre-Flood Nephilim – the first super-advanced parents and hybrid offspring to walk the earth.
Notice how researchers like to say that many stories in the Old Testament represent “shorter versions of” or “copies of” ancient Sumerian writings. We read the same thing in the paragraph from Wikipedia above. Well, while doing my research, I found a Short Chronology Timeline of ancient cultures and in that timeline something immediately jumped out at me. The earliest records point to one of the first kings of the Mesopotamian region, a man known as Sargon
Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the Great “The Great King” (Akkadian Šarru-kīnu, meaning “the true king” or “the king is legitimate”),was an Akkadian emperor famous for his conquest of the Sumerian city-states in the 23rd and 22nd centuries BC.The founder of the Dynasty of Akkad, Sargon reigned from 2,270 to 2,215 BC (short chronology).He became a prominent member of the royal court of Kish, killing the king and usurping his throne before embarking on the quest to conquer Mesopotamia. He was originally referred to as Sargon I until records concerning an Assyrian king also named Sargon (now usually referred to as Sargon I) were unearthed.
Many have made the connection that “Kish” is the “Cush” of the Bible (Nimrod’s father according to Genesis). So, is this record saying that Nimrod killed his father? It would seem so. The above quoted Wikipedia source also makes the connection that Sargon may in fact be Nimrod:
Stories of Sargon’s power and that of his empire may have influenced the body of folklore that was later incorporated into the Bible. A number of scholars have speculated that Sargon may have been the inspiration for the biblical figure of Nimrod who figures in the Book of Genesis as well as in midrashi and Talmudic literature. The Bible mentions Akkad as being one of the first city-states of Nimrod’s kingdom, but does not explicitly state that he built it.
That author suggests that this Sargon character was the “inspiration for the biblical figure of Nimrod” implying that the Bible merely borrowed its story from elsewhere. But I submit that the Bible is simply confirming the story – just from a Hebrew perspective (as dictated to Moses by God). Nimrod is not a name. It is a title that means, “the rebellious one.” That certainly seems to fit the above description of Sargon. Notice also the sculpture of this character to the right. It has one eye missing! Keep this in mind as we continue this study.
The date given for his reign is 2,270 – 2,215 BC. That believed date almost perfectly fits the timeframe depicted in my Biblical Timeline of Human History Chart as being just prior to the Tower of Babel (which of course was built by Nimrod)!
The Bene Ephraim (Hebrew: בני אפריים) Bnei Ephraim (“Sons of Ephraim”), also called Telugu Jews because they speak Telugu, are a small community living primarily in Kotha Reddy palem, a village outside Chebrolu, Guntur District, and in Machilipatnam, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, India, near the delta of the River Krishna. They claim to be descendants of the Tribe of Ephraim, of the Ten Lost Tribes, and since the 1980s have learned to practice modern Judaism.
The Bene Ephraim claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim, and say that they traveled from Israel through western Asia: Persia, Afghanistan, Tibet and into China for 1,600 years before arriving in southern India more than 1,000 years ago. They hold a history which they say is similar to that of the shift of AfghanJews and PersianJewish, Bene Israel, Bnei Menashe in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, who received recognition in 2005 from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. (The latter people must still go through a formal conversion process to become citizens of Israel.)
During the medieval period they have worked as farm laborers. While practising Judaism, they adopted some Christianity after the arrival of British Baptistmissionaries during the early 19th century.
Their leader, Shmuel Yacobi, went to Jerusalem in the 1980s and became convinced they were of Jewish descent. Because of the long period in which the people were not practising Judaism, they did not develop any distinctly identifiable Judæo-Telugu language or dialect. (See Jewish languages.)
Since the 1980s, about fifty families in Kotha Reddy Palem have studied Judaism, learnedHebrew, and built an operating synagogue. They celebrate all Jewish holidays and often use theirTorah scroll and read Hebrew.
Today Hebrew is being used as a living language rather than limited to liturgy. The community has been visited over the years by rabbis from the chief rabbinate in Israel to study their Jewish tradition and practices. The Chief Rabbi has to recognise the community as being of Jewish descent. The rabbis have taught today’s Judaism and converted many Indian Jews, while some women eventually married to a rabbi family, many married in the past to Jewish people, but not attached to homeland Israel they still must relocate. They have sought recognition from many rabbis around the world. They always practiced their own Caviloth [Oral Traditions and customs] such as: burying the dead, eating cow and beef meat, marriage under Chuppah, observing Shabbat and other Hebrew, Israel and Jewish Festival and maintaining Elders Court System etc..
According to the Washington Times in 2006
Chandra Sekhar Angadi, a social scientist in neighboring Karnataka, said of the Telugu Jews:
There are certain Oral Traditions among Bene Ephraim: traditions known as Cavilah Traditions. There are about 450 ancient halakhic customs, habits and Hebrew Cultural Elements among them that continued since prehistoric times and Exodus. They shared some of those elements with the Ereb Rab Telugu people. Burying the dead, eating kosher animal meat, marriage under chuppah, burial customs, 7 day purification, bar/bath mitzvah, Hebrew words, sayings and many other usages. The Ereb Rab Telugu people re-made Amaravati as their capital today and the Bene Ephraim are hopeful to find their hidden Torah Scrolls, Hebrew literature and ancient valuables when the Government digs out during constructing the new capital for Andhra Pradesh State.
The Ifranids, also called Banu Ifran, Ifran, or the children of the Ifran (Arabic: بنو يفرن, Banu Yifran), were a Zenata Berber tribe prominent in the history of pre-Islamic and early Islamic North Africa.In the 8th century, they established a kingdom in Central Maghreb, Algeria with Tlemcen as its capital.
The Banu Ifran resisted or revolted against foreign occupiers—Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines—of their territory in Africa. In the seventh century, they sided with Kahina in her resistance against the Muslim Umayyad invaders. In the eighth century they mobilized around the dogma of sufri, revolting against the Arab Umayyads and Abbasids.
In the 10th century they founded a dynasty opposed to the Fatimids, the Zirids, the Umayyads, the Hammadids and the Maghraoua. The Banu Ifran were defeated by the Almoravids and the invading Arabs (the Banu Hilal and the Banu Sulaym) to the end of the 11th century. The Ifranid dynasty  was recognized as the only dynasty that has defended the indigenous people of the Maghreb, by the Romans referred to as the Africani. In 11th century Iberia, the Ifrenid founded aTaifa of Ronda since 1039 at Ronda in Andalusia and governed from Cordoba for several centuries.
The Banu Ifran were one of the four major tribes of the Zenata or Gaetulia confederation, and were known as expert cavalrymen. According to Ibn Khaldoun, “Ifrinides” or “Ait Ifren” were successfully resisting Romans, Vandals and Byzantines who sought to occupy North Africa before the arrival of the Muslim armies. According to Corippus in his Iohannis, during the reign of Justinian I between 547 and 550, the Banu Ifran challenged the Byzantine armies under John Troglita to war. Their chief Abu Qurra rebuilt the city of Tlemcen in Algeria in 765 (formerly, it was a Roman city named Pomaria). They opposed the Egyptian Fatimid Caliphate, aligning themselves with the Maghrawa tribe and the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, although they themselves became Kharijites. Led by Abu Yazid, they surged east and attackedKairouan in 945. Another leader, Ya’la ibn Muhammad captured Oran and constructed a new capital, Ifgan, near Mascara. Under the leadership of their able general Jawhar, who killed Ya’la in battle in 954, the Fatimids struck back and destroyed Ifgan, and for some time afterward the Banu Ifran reverted to being scattered nomads in perpetual competition with their Sanhajaneighbours. Some settled in regions of Spain, such as Málaga. Others, led by Hammama, managed to gain control of the Moroccan province of Tadla. Later, led by Abu al-Kamāl, they established a new capital at Salé on the Atlantic coast, though this brought them into conflict with the Barghawata tribes on the seaboard.
The dynasty of the Ifrinids, Ibn Khadloun, Histoire des Berbères, section Banou Ifran
During the 11th century, the Banu Ifran contested with the Maghrawa tribe for the control of Morocco after the fall of the Idrisid dynasty. Ya’la’s son Yaddū took Fes by surprise in January 993 and held it for some months until theMaghrawa ruler Ziri ibn Atiyya returned from Spain and reconquered the region.
In May or June 1033, Fes was recaptured by Ya’la’s grandson Tamīm. Fanatically devoted to religion, he began a persecution of the Jews,and is said to have killed 6000 of their men while confiscating their wealth and women, but Ibn Khaldoun says only persecution without killing. Sometime in the period 1038-1040 theMaghrawa tribe retook Fes, forcing Tamīm to flee to Salé.
Soon after that time, the Almoravids began their rise to power and effectively conquered both the Banu Ifran and their brother-rivals the Maghrawa.
Ifran is a plural for Afar, Efri or Ifri; it is probably derived from the last of these, which means “cave” in Berber. Other possibilities are that their name is derived from one of the major gods of the pagan Berbers, Ifrou, or that the name is derived from the region of Yifran in present-day north-west Libya where they may have originated.
The name of the Ifran tribe has many alternative spellings, such as Ifuraces or Afar in Latin, or Ifrinidi, Iforen, Fren, Wafren, Yefren, Yafren, or Yafran, but all of the names mean simply “The Sons of Ifri”. The banu- was added by the Arab writers, who called them “ben ifren” or “Ifrinid”.
Among the Ifran, animism was the principal spiritual philosophy. Ifri was also the name of a Berber deity, and their name may have an origin in their beliefs. Ifru rites symbolized in caves were held to gain favor or protection for merchants and traders. The myth of this protection is befittingly depicted on Roman coins.
Ifru was regarded as a sun goddess, cave goddess and protector of the home. Ifru or Ifran was regarded as a Berber version of Vesta.
Dehia, usually referred to as The Kahina was the Dejrawa Berber queen, prophetess, and leader of the non-Muslim response to the advancing Arab armies. Some historians claim Kahina was Christian, or a follower of the Judaic faith, though few of the Ifran were Christians, even after more than half a millennium of Christianity among the urban populations and the more sedentary tribes. Ibn Khaldun simply states that Ifran were Berbers, and says nothing of their religion before the advent of Islam.
The Banu Ifran were opposed to the Sunnis of the Arab armies. They eventually converted, but summoned under the Kharidjite movement within Islam. Ibn Khaldun claimed that the “Zenata people say they are Muslims but they still oppose the Arab army.”. After 711, the Berbers were systematically converted to Islam and many became devout members of the faith.
Ifran in Spain
The Banu Ifran were influential in Spain in the 11th century AD. The Ifran house of Corra ruled the Andalusian city Ronda in Spain. Yeddas was the military leader of the Berber troops who were at war against the Christian king and El Mehdi.Abu Nour or Nour of the house of Corra became lord of Ronda and then Seville in Andalusia from 1023 to 1039 and from 1039 to 1054. The son of Nour bin Badis Hallal ruled Ronda from 1054 to 1057, and Abu Nacer from 1057 to 1065.
Yorubas – Sons of Ephraim
Yorubas – Sons of Ephraim
As stated in my books regarding the Igbos, the father of the Yoruba people, Oduduwa traveled with Gad’s sons, Eri, Areli and Arodi from North Africa, likely Egypt and settled in what today is known as Nigeria. This would coincide with Yoruba oral history that they believe to come from outside of West Africa and thus it would be no surprise that we might find Israelites, Hebrews and Jews among the Yoruba.
Oduduwa was said to be a descendant of Hamm, through Nimrod also called Lamurudu, this according to Yoruba Christian Samuel Johnson in 1880. Sultan Bello, Caliph of Sokoto was quoted in 1820 by Hugh Clapperton to have said that the Yoruba people were descendants of a Canaanite tribe. And S.O. Obiaku a Nigerian Historian claimed the Yoruba’s to originate from the Sudan or what was known as Cush/Kush (Ethiopia).
However, some say “Yoruba” is a corruption of the name “Jacob” or in Hebrew, “Yacob.” Others assert that Yoruba is from “Yerubbaal,” the “People of against Baal.”
But the current Yoruba Jewish population who claim to come from the Israeli tribe of Ephraim was said to have been driven to Yorubaland from Morocco by Muslims and eventually mingled with Yoruba people. These black Jews in southern Nigeria are called the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “Strange People”, by the native Africans, but these black Jews call themselves, “B’nai Ephraim” or “Sons of Ephraim”. These Jews who claim that their ancestors came from Morocco is supported by their language which appears to be a mixture of Maghrebi Arabic and local Negro speech. Thus abu (“father”) has become Yaaba, from the Hebrew word “Abba” and “Umm” (“mother”) is “Em” from the Hebrew, “Ima”. Nevertheless, most of their language is similar to the Yoruba’s around them.
These Yoruba, “Sons of Ephraim” observe certain Jewish customs, among which are the great holy days, naming of children on the 8th day, etc. In almost every way, these black Jews are like the Yorubas, and are hardly distinguishable from them, except for some outstanding Hebrew observances.
But there is doubt whether any from this group exists today among the Yoruba.
There is a clan among the Yoruba People called the “Ijeeu,” which is believed to be a corruption of the word “Hebrew” or “Jew.” They are looked down upon by the rest of the Yoruba for displaying Igbo-like character and traits, one of which is business prowess. There is even a town in Yorubaland called, “Ijuee-Igbo.” Much if the Ijeeu people resent and deny this connection with them and Ndi Igbo.
The evidence of the Hebrew culture and its language found only in Igboland (Hebrew land), Nigeria attest to the validity of the Holy Bible.
There are Udo Shrines all over Anambra State, Nigeria & there is one in Japan and in Honduras erected by early Igbo settlers of these lands.
The word for peace in original Hebrew (Igbo) is “udo”. The Hebrew deity of peace is also called “Udo,” when pronounced with a high pitch.
Extract below added and link to original post as my research is also leading to this conclusion.
CATHERINE ACHOLONU’S APPRAISAL OF THE RESEARCH
of Dr. BARRY FELL & EDO NYLAND
“All the words that researchers Edo Nyland and Dr. Barry Fell transcribed were Igbo words, which I could easily read and translate. When I told Nyland that I had translated the words he transcribed from Ogam stones he did not believe me at first. When Hugo Kennes found my work on the Internet and started informing all the Ogam researchers he knew including Nyland, Nyland asked him to get an Igbo dictionary from me. After a meeting with Pellech in Belgium, she convinced me to write further details for her site, and that led to my doing the Igbo Ogam VCV Dictionary.” [Please also see New York Times article].
“Nyland’s use of the word Saharan might not be too far off the mark. However, he did not check West Africa, which has language links with North Africa because the direction of migrations from the Niger has been both northward and southward through the Ages. For example the Berber etymology of ‘Barbarian‘ is related to Igbo in the sense that (according to Herodotus) the word means ‘stranger’. Igbo
word for “Stranger” is “Obiarabia.”
“My thesis is that Egypt was the main outpost from where West African Kwa (Kwush/Kush) culture was exported to the rest of the world. Igbo is the Mega-Kwa language – the Kushite mother-language. Kush is the major bearer of this civilization. Ethiopia was not just an East Africa location, but lay West too. According to Homer, it was in Sunset Ethiopia that the Gods congregated, and the people were called “the Blameless Ethiopians in whose land the gods held banquets”. We have discovered the lost city of this Pre-historic Civilization, with its array of beautiful bronze and pottery works lost to living memory and posing an Enigma to African and World History.”
“My analyses of the early archaeology of Sumer and of the Akkadian/Sumerian/Canaanite (Semitic) languages shows that all of them without exception were children of the Igbo language and that the earliest inhabitants of Sumer had Igbo lifestyles in religion, architecture, clothing, etc., even in the recipe for soap-making (wood-ash/potash boiled in oil).”
“Igbo is in the family of Niger-Congo languages called Kwa by European linguists, which includes many Nigerian and West African languages like Ashanti, Akan, Yoruba and Benin (Edo). Igbo, I find to be closest to the original mother of that language family. In fact my finding is that in order to not let the Igbo know that it was their language that birthed the others, the linguists invented the word Kwa, which was originated from Akwa Nshi (Igbo for ‘First People’, also the local name of the Nigerian monoliths that represent First People on the planet). This word was used also by the ancient Egyptians to describe the West African, in fact Igbo-speaking, Sea People (Kwush, see Martin Bernal – Black Athena ) who brought civilization to the Aegean and the Levant during the Hyksos (which means ‘Kwush’) Exodus. Kwush, also pronounced Kush means in Semitic and in Igbo ‘People of the Esh/Eshi’. Eshi are the so-called ‘Blameless Ethiopians’ of Homer. In Sumer and in Igbo, the word meant ‘Righteous/Sons of God/Descendants of the Adama (see The Nag Hammadi Scriptures and the Torah). Adam was Adama before the Fall. After he fell he became Adam, a word, which in Igbo means ‘I have Fallen’. Today in Igbo land we still have the descendants of the Immortal First People. They have never ceased to go by Adam’s original name – ‘Adama’. They are the Land Chiefs in Igbo land.”
“Biblical Kush was named after the Ikwu Eshi/Kwush. Ikwu Eshi literally means in Igbo – ‘Descendant/Lineage of the Eshi’.”
“The Sea People were related to the Hebrews. They all spoke Semitic languages. They were the founders of Greece, Crete, Troy, and Rome. They were the Carians, Danaans, Acheans, and Myceneans, not excluding the Hittites. The writing systems they gave to Crete and early Middle East have been mostly found on the Igbo Ukwu excavated artifacts (see The Lost Testament), while the surviving words from their period had many Igbo cognates. Their exodus began in Egypt, remember? And Egypt, according to our findings was an outpost of an originally West African civilization in the time of Osiris (10,000 B.C.), whose Nigerian equivalent bore the Ogam scarifications on his face as his personal signature. We have found many hieroglyphs and pyramid symbols of Egypt on body adornments of ancient Nigerian gods and monuments.”
“Ogam was a writing system, not a language. Ancient Africans had other writing forms, too. Egyptian hieroglyphics was not a language; it was a writing system that could only be read correctly and meaningfully if you know the language. In this case, Igbo, the original Kwa.”
Berbers or Amazighs (Berber languages: ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ Imaziɣen; singular: ⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖ Amaziɣ / Amazigh) are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, primarily inhabiting the Maghreb. They are distributed in an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River in West Africa. Historically, they spoke Berber languages, which together form the Berber branch of the Afroasiatic family. Since the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the seventh century, a large number of Berbers inhabiting the Maghreb (Tamazgha) have in varying degrees used as lingua franca the other languages spoken in North Africa. After the colonization of North Africa by France, “the French government succeeded in integrating the French language in Algeria by making French the official national language and requiring all education to take place in French.” Foreign languages, mainly French and to some degree Spanish, inherited from former European colonial powers, are used by most educated Berbers in Algeria and Morocco in some formal contexts, such as higher education or business.
Most Berber people live in North Africa, mainly in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. Small Berber populations are also found in Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Egypt, as well as large immigrant communities living inFrance, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands,Germany, and other countries of Europe.
The majority of Berbers are Sunni Muslim.The Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an entirely homogeneous ethnicity and they encompass a range of societies and ancestries. The unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language, or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history.
The name Berber derives from an ancient Egyptian language term meaning “outlander” or variations thereof. The exonym was later adopted by the Greeks, with a similar connotation. Among its oldest written attestations, Berber appears as an ethnonym in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
Despite these early manuscripts, certain modern scholars have argued that the term only emerged around 900 AD in the writings of Arab genealogists, with Maurice Lenoir positing an 8th or 9th century date of appearance. The English term was introduced in the 19th century, replacing the earlier Barbary.
The Berbers are the Mauri cited by the Chronicle of 754 during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, to become since the 11th century the catch-all term Moros (in Spanish; Moors in English) on the charters and chronicles of the expanding Christian Iberian kingdoms to refer to the Andalusi, the north Africans, and the Muslims overall.
For the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg which is the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in theTargum. According to Leo Africanus, Amazigh meant “free man”, though this has been disputed, because there is no root of M-Z-Gh meaning “free” in modern Berber languages. This dispute, however, is based on a lack of understanding of the Berber language as “Am-” is a prefix meaning “a man, one who is […]” Therefore, the root required to verify this endonym would be (a)zigh, “free”, which however is also missing from Tamazight‘s lexicon, but may be related to the well attested aze “strong”, Tizzit “bravery”, or jeghegh “to be brave, to be courageous”.
Further, it also has a cognate in the Tuareg word Amajegh, meaning “noble”. This term is common in Morocco, especially among Central Atlas, Rifian and Shilah speakers in 1980, but elsewhere within the Berber homeland sometimes a local, more particular term, such as Kabyle orChaoui, is more often used instead in Algeria.
The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines mentioned various tribes with similar names living in Greater “Libya” (North Africa) in the areas where Berbers were later found. Later tribal names differ from the classical sources, but are probably still related to the modern Amazigh. TheMeshwesh tribe among them represents the first thus identified from the field. Scholars believe it would be the same tribe called a few centuries afterwards in Greek as Mazyes by Hektaios and as Maxyes by Herodotus, while it was called after that Mazaces and Mazax in Latin sources, and related to the later Massylii and Masaesyli. All those names are similar and perhaps foreign renditions of the name used by the Berbers in general for themselves, Imazighen.
The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC. Local cave paintings, which have been dated to twelve millennia before present, have been found in the Tassili n’Ajjer region of southern Algeria. Other rock art has been observed in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert. A Neolithic society, marked by domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region (the Maghreb) of northern Africa between 6000 and 2000 BC. This type of life, richly depicted in the Tassili n’Ajjer cave paintings of southeastern Algeria, predominated in the Maghreb until the classical period. Prehistorical Tifinagh scripts were also found in the Oran region. During the pre-Roman era, several successive independent states (Massylii) existed before the king Masinissa unified the people of Numidia.
In historical times, the Berbers expanded south into the Sahara (displacing earlier populations such as the Azer and Bafour). Much of Berber culture is still celebrated among the cultural elite in Morocco and Algeria.
The areas of North Africa that have retained the Berber language and traditions best have been, in general, Morocco and the Hautes Plaines of Algeria (Kabylie, Aurès etc.), most of which in Roman and Ottoman times had remained largely independent. The Ottomans did penetrate the Kabylie area, and to places the Phoenicians never penetrated, far beyond the coast, where Turkish influence can be seen in food, clothes and music. These areas have been affected by some of the many invasions of North Africa, most recently that of the French.
tile from the throne of Pharaoh Ramesses III
depicting a tattooed ancient Libyan chief (ca. 1184 to 1153 BC).
Around 5000 BC, the populations of North Africa were primarily descended from the makers of the Iberomaurusian and Capsian cultures, with a more recent intrusion associated with the Neolithic Revolution. The proto-Berber tribes evolved from these prehistoric communities during the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age.
Uniparental DNA analysis has established ties between Berbers and other Afroasiatic speakers in Africa. Most of these populations belong to the E1b1b paternal haplogroup, with Berber speakers having among the highest frequencies of this lineage. Additionally, genomic analysis has found that Berber and other Maghreb communities are defined by a shared ancestral component. This Maghrebi element peaks among Tunisian Berbers. It is related to the Coptic/Ethio-Somali, having diverged from these and other West Eurasian-affiliated components prior to the Holocene.
In 2013, Iberomaurusian skeletons from the prehistoric sites of Taforalt and Afalou in the Maghreb were also analyzed for ancient DNA. All of the specimens belonged to maternal clades associated with either North Africa or the northern and southern Mediterranean littoral, indicating gene flow between these areas since the Epipaleolithic. The ancient Taforalt individuals carried the mtDNA haplogroups U6, H, JT and V, which points to population continuity in the region dating from the Iberomaurusian period.
Human fossils excavated at the Ifri n’Amr or Moussa site in Morocco have been radiocarbon-dated to the Early Neolithic period, ca. 5,000 BC. Ancient DNA analysis of these specimens indicates that they carried paternal haplotypes related to the E1b1b1b1a (E-M81) subclade and the maternal haplogroups U6a and M1, all of which are frequent among present-day communities in the Maghreb. These ancient individuals also bore an autochthonous Maghrebi genomic component that peaks among modern Berbers, indicating that they were ancestral to populations in the area. Additionally, fossils excavated at the Kelif el Boroud site near Rabat were found to carry the broadly-distributed paternal haplogroup T-M184 as well as the maternal haplogroups K1, T2 and X2, the latter of which were common mtDNA lineages in Neolithic Europeand Anatolia. These ancient individuals likewise bore the Berber-associated Maghrebi genomic component. This altogether indicates that the Late Neolithic Kelif el Boroud inhabitants were ancestral to contemporary populations in the area, but also likely experienced gene flow from Europe.
The grand tribal identities of Berber antiquity (then often known as ancient Libyans) were said to be three (roughly, from west to east): theMauri, the Numidians near Carthage, and theGaetulians. The Mauri inhabited the far west (ancient Mauretania, now Morocco and central Algeria). The Numidians were located in the regions between the Mauri and the city-state of Carthage. Both the Numidians and the Mauri had significant sedentary populations living in villages, and their peoples both tilled the land and tended herds. The Gaetulians were less settled, with predominantly pastoral elements, and lived in the near south on the margins of the Sahara. For their part, the Phoenicians came from the perhaps most advanced multicultural sphere then existing, the Fertile Crescent. Accordingly, the material culture of Phoenicia was likely more functional and efficient, and their knowledge more explanatory, than that of the early Berbers. Hence, the interactions between Berbers and Phoenicians were often asymmetrical. The Phoenicians worked to keep their cultural cohesion and ethnic solidarity, and continuously refreshed their close connection with Tyre, the mother city.
The earliest Phoenician landing stations located on the coasts were probably meant merely to resupply and service ships bound for the lucrative metals trade with the Iberian peninsula.Perhaps these newly arrived sea traders were not at first particularly interested in doing much business with the Berbers, for reason of the little profit regarding the goods the Berbers had to offer. The Phoenicians established strategic colonial cities in many Berber areas, including sites outside of present-day Tunisia, e.g., the settlements at Volubilis, Chellah and Mogador (now in Morocco). As in Tunisia these centres were trading hubs, and later offered support for resource development such as olive oil at Volubilis and Tyrian purple dye at Mogador. For their part, most Berbers maintained their independence as farmers or semi-pastorals although, due to the exemplar of Carthage, their organized politics increased in scope and acquired sophistication.
Berber Kingdoms in Numidia, c. 220 BC (green: Masaesyli under Syphax; gold: Massyli under Gala
, father of Masinissa; further east: city-state of Carthage).
In fact for a time their numerical and military superiority (the best horse riders of that time) enabled some Berber kingdoms to impose a tribute payable by Carthage, a condition that continued into the 5th century BC. Also, due to the Berbero-Libyan Meshwesh dynasty’s rule of Egypt (945-715 BC), the Berbers near Carthage commanded significant respect (yet probably appearing more rustic than elegant Libyan pharaohs on the Nile). Correspondingly, in early Carthage careful attention was given to securing the most favorable treaties with the Berber chieftains, “which included intermarriage between them and the Punic aristocracy.” In this regard, perhaps the legend about Dido, the foundress of Carthage (see above), as related byTrogus is apposite. Her refusal to wed the Mauritani chieftain Hiarbus might be indicative of the complexity of the politics involved.
Eventually the Phoenician trading stations would evolve into permanent settlements, and later into small towns, which would presumably require a wide variety of goods as well as sources of food, which could be satisfied in trade with the Berbers. Yet here too, the Phoenicians probably would be drawn into organizing and directing such local trade, and also into managing agricultural production. In the 5th century BC, Carthage expanded its territory, acquiring Cape Bonand the fertile Wadi Majardah, later establishing its control over productive farm lands within several hundred kilometers. Appropriation of such wealth in land by the Phoenicians would surely inspire some resistance by the Berbers, although in warfare, too, the technical training, social organization, and weaponry of the Phoenicians would seem to work against the tribal Berbers.
As a legacy of the spread of Islam, the Berbers are now mostly Sunni Muslim. The MozabiteBerbers of the Saharan Mozabite Valley and Libyan berbers in Nafusis and Zuwara are primarily adherents of the Ibadi Muslim denomination.
In antiquity, the Berber people adhered to thetraditional Berber religion, prior to the arrival ofAbrahamic faiths into North Africa. This traditional religion heavily emphasized ancestor veneration, polytheism and animism. Many ancient Berber beliefs were developed locally, whereas others were influenced over time through contact with other traditional African religions (such as the Ancient Egyptian religion), or borrowed during antiquity from the Punic religion, Judaism, Iberian mythology, and theHellenistic religion. The most recent influence came from Islam and pre-Islamic Arab religionduring the medieval period. Some of the ancient Berber beliefs still exist today subtly within the Berber popular culture and tradition.
Until the 1960s, there was also a significant Jewish Berber minority in Morocco, but emigration (mostly to Israel and France) dramatically reduced their number to only a few hundred individuals.
Following Christian missions, the Kabyle community in Algeria has a decent-sized recently constituted Christian minority, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, and a 2015 study estimates 380,000 Muslim Algerian converted to Christianity in Algeria. whereas among the 8,000-40,000 Moroccans who have converted to Christianity in the last decades several Berbers are found; some of them explain their conversion as an attempt to go back to their “Christian sources”.
In Christian history
Before the arrival of Islam into the region, most Berber groups were either Christian, Jewish or Animist, and a number of Berber theologians were important figures in the development of western Christianity. In particular, the BerberDonatus Magnus was the founder of a Christian group known as the Donatists. The 4th-century Catholic Church viewed the donatists as heretics and the dispute led to a schism in the Church dividing North African Christians. They are directly related to Circumcellions, a sect that worked on disseminating the doctrine in North Africa by the force of the sword.
Augustine of Hippo (Hippo being the modern Algerian city of Annaba), Scholars generally agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, but that they were heavily Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. He is recognized as asaint and a Doctor of the Church by Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion and revered by the Reformed; he was an outspoken opponent of Donatism.
Many believe that Arius, another early Christian theologian who was deemed a heretic by the Christian Church, was of Libyan Berber descent. Another Berber cleric, Saint Adrian of Canterbury, traveled to England and played a significant role in its early medieval religious history.
Lusius Quietus, was the son of a Christian tribal lord from unconquered Mauretania (modern Morocco). Lusius’ father and his warriors had supported the Roman legions in their attempt to subdue Mauretania Tingitana (northern modern Morocco) during Aedemon’s revolt in 40.
Masuna (fl. 508) was a Romano-Moorish Christian king in Mauretania Caesariensis (western Algeria) who is said to have encouraged the Byzantine general Solomon, the Prefect of Africa, to launch an invasion of the Moorish kingdom of Numidia.
Dihya (Berber: Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt) was a Berber Byzantine Christian religious and military leader who led indigenous resistance to Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, the region then known as Numidia, known as the Algeria today. She was born in the early seventh century and died around the end of the seventh century in modern Algeria. According to al-Mālikī she was said to have been accompanied in her travels by what the Arabs called an “idol”, possibly an icon of theVirgin or one of the Christian saints.
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (c. 155 – c. 240 AD), known as Tertullian (/tərˈtʌliən/), was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa and was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.”
Sabellius, who was a third-century priest and theologian who most likely taught in Rome, may have been of African Berber descent. Basil and others call him a Libyan from Pentapolis, but this seems to rest on the fact that Pentapolis was a place where the teachings of Sabellius thrived, according to Dionysius of Alexandria, c. 260. What is known of Sabellius is drawn mostly from the polemical writings of his opponents.
Fadhma Aït Mansour, born in Tizi Hibel, Algeria, is the mother of writers Jean Amrouche and Taos Amrouche. Fadhma, the illegitimate daughter of a widow, was born in a Kabylie village. Later, when she was with the Sisters at Aït Manguellet hospital, she converted to Roman Catholicism. She met another Kabyle Catholic convert, Antoine-Belkacem Amrouche, whom she married in 1898.
Ahmed es-Sikeli, born in Djerba to a Berber family of the Sadwikish tribe was baptized a Christian under the name Peter, was a eunuch and kaid of the Diwan of the Kingdom of Sicily during the reign of William I. His story was recorded by his Christian contemporaries Romuald Guarna and Hugo Falcandus from Sicily and the Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun.
Brother Rachid, a Moroccan Christian convert from Islam whose father is a well-known respected Imam. He is one of the most outspoken converts in the world, he hosts a weekly live call-in show on Al-Hayat channel where he compares Islam and Christianity as well as debating with Islamic scholars.
Malika Oufkir is a Moroccan writer and former “disappeared” person. She is the daughter of General Mohamed Oufkir and a cousin of fellow Moroccan writer and actress Leila Shenna. She and her siblings are converts from Islam to Catholicism, and she writes in her book, Stolen Lives: “we had rejected Islam, which had brought us nothing good, and opted for Catholicism instead.”
In Islamic history
Tariq ibn Ziyad
, Berber Muslim and Umayyad general who led the conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711
Tariq ibn Ziyad (died 720), known in Spanish history and legend as Taric el Tuerto (Taric the one-eyed), was a Berber Muslim and Umayyadgeneral who led the conquest of VisigothicHispania in 711. He is considered to be one of the most important military commanders in Spanish history. He was initially the deputy ofMusa ibn Nusair in North Africa, and was sent by his superior to launch the first thrust of an invasion of the Iberian peninsula. Some claim that he was invited to intervene by the heirs of the Visigothic King, Wittiza, in the Visigothic civil war.
On April 29, 711, the armies of Tariq landed at Gibraltar (the name Gibraltar is derived from the Arabic name Jabal Tariq, which means mountain of Tariq, or the more obvious Gibr Al-Tariq, meaning rock of Tariq). Upon landing, Tariq is said to have burned his ships then made the following speech, well known in the Muslim world, to his soldiers:
Ziri ibn Manad (died 971), founder of the Zirid dynasty in the Maghreb. Ziri ibn Manad was a clan leader of the Berber Sanhaja tribe who, as an ally of the Fatimids, defeated the rebellion of Abu Yazid (943-947). His reward was the governorship of the western provinces, an area that roughly corresponds with modern Algeria north of the Sahara.
Yusuf ibn Tashfin (c. 1061–1106) was the Berber Almoravid ruler in North Africa and Al-Andalus(Moorish Iberia). He took the title of amir al-muslimin (commander of the Muslims) after visiting the Caliph of Baghdad ‘amir al-Mu’minin” (“commander of the faithful”) and officially receiving his support. He was either a cousin or nephew of Abu Bakr ibn Umar, the founder of the Almoravid dynasty. He united all of the Muslim dominions in the Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain) to the Maghreb (c. 1090), after being called to the Al-Andalus by the Emir of Seville.
Alfonso VI was defeated on 23 October 1086, at the battle of Sagrajas, at the hands of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, and Abbad III al-Mu’tamid. Yusuf bin Tashfin is the founder of the famous Moroccan city Marrakech (in Berber Murakush, corrupted to Morocco in English). He himself chose the place where it was built in 1070 and later made it the capital of his Empire. Until then, the Almoravids had been desert nomads, but the new capital marked their settling into a more urban way of life.
Ibn Tumart (c. 1080 – c. 1130), was a Berber religious teacher and leader from the Masmuda tribe who spiritually founded the Almohad dynasty. He is also known as El-Mahdi in reference to his prophesied redeeming. In 1125, he began an open revolt against Almoravid rule. The name “Ibn Tumart” comes from the Berber language and means “son of the earth.”
Abu Ya’qub Yusuf (died on 29 July 1184) was the second Almohad caliph. He reigned from 1163 until 1184. He had the Giralda in Seville built.
Abu Yaqub al-Mustansir Yusuf II Caliph of Maghreb from 1213 until his death. The son of the previous caliph, Muhammad an-Nasir, Yusuf assumed the throne following his father’s death, at the age of only 16 years.
Al-Busiri (1211–1294) was a Sanhaja Berber Sufi poet belonging to the Shadhiliyya order being direct disciple of Sheikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi.
Ibn Battuta (born 1304; year of death uncertain, possibly 1368 or 1377) was a Berber Sunni Islamic scholar and jurisprudent from the Maliki Madhhab (a school of Fiqh, or Islamic law), and at times a Qadi or judge. However, he is best known as a traveler and explorer, whose account documents his travels and excursions over a period of almost thirty years, covering some 117,000 kilometres (73,000 mi). These journeys covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic realm, extending from modern West Africa to Pakistan, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, South-East Asia and China, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessor, near-contemporary Marco Polo.
Muhammad al-Jazuli – From the tribe of Jazulah which was settled in the Sous area of Maghreb between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlas Mountains. He is most famous for compiling the Dala’il al-Khayrat, an extremely popular Muslim prayer book.
Mohammed Awzal was a religious Berber poet. He is considered the most important author of the Shilha literary tradition. He was born around 1670 in the village of al-Qasaba in the region of Sous, Maghreb and died in 1748/9 (1162 of the Egira).
Haplogroup E-V38 is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is primarily distributed in Africa. E-V38 has two basal branches, E-M329 (formerly E1b1c) and E-M2 (formerly E1b1a). The E-M329 subclade is today almost exclusively found in Ethiopia. E-M2 is the predominant subclade in Western Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa and the African Great Lakes, and occurs at moderate frequencies in North Africa and Middle East. E-M2 has several subclades, but many of these subhaplogroups are included in either E-L485 or E-U175.
This haplogroup’s frequency and diversity are highest in the West Africa region. Within Africa, E-V38 displays a west-to-east as well as a south-to-north clinal distribution. In other words, the frequency of the haplogroup decreases as one moves from western and southern Africa toward the eastern and northern parts of the continent.
Populations on the North West Africa, central Eastern Africa and Madagascar have tested at more moderate frequencies.
E-V38 is found at low to moderate frequencies in North Africa, and northern East Africa. The some of the lineages found in these areas are possibly due to the Bantu expansion or other migrations. The E-M2 marker that appeared in North African samples stem from the Ancient Indeginous Moors.  However, the discovery in 2011 of the E-V38 marker that predates E-M2 has led Trombetta et al. to suggest that E-V38 may have originated in East Africa (please refer to the Origins section for the details).
Outside of Africa, E-V38 has been found at low frequencies. The clade has been found at low frequencies in West Asia. A few isolated occurrences of E-V38 have also been observed among populations in Southern Europe, such as Croatia, Malta, Spain and Portugal. 
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade brought people to North America, Central America and South America including the Caribbean. Consequently, the haplogroup is often observed in the United States populations in men who self-identify as African Americans. It has also been observed in a number of populations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America among people of African descent.
Kuwaiti population subgroup of nomadic Bedouin ancestry—Whole genome sequence and analysis
Population of Kuwait comprises early settlers that include tribes from Arabian and Persian countries, and nomadic Bedouins of the desert . By way of analyzing genome-wide genotypes from 273 Kuwaiti natives, we recently demonstrated three distinct genetic subgroups in Kuwaiti population : Kuwait P (KWP) of Persian ancestry; Kuwait S (KWS) of “city-dwelling” Saudi Arabian tribe ancestry, and Kuwait B (KWB) that includes most of the “tent-dwelling” Bedouin participants (recruited to provide samples for genotyping). The KWB is distinguished from the other two groups by a characteristic presence of 17% African ancestry (ranging from 11.7% to 39.4%); Arabian ancestry is seen more in the Saudi Arabian tribe ancestry subgroup (at 69%) than in the Bedouin group (at 40%). Populations from other states of the Arabian Peninsula also display such a characteristic presence of African ancestry: (i) analysis of mitochondrial DNA variation in Saudi Arabian samples reveals that the Saudi Arabian population harbors as much as 20% genetic contribution from Africa ; (ii) analysis of Saudi Arabian Y-chromosome data indicates that around 14% of the Saudi Arabian Y-chromosome pool is typical of African biogeography ancestry ; (iii) analysis of mitochondrial DNA variation in populations from Near East and Africa identifies a very high frequency of African lineages (specifically sub-Saharan) in the Yemen Hadramawt ; and (iv) analysis of genome-wide genotypes in individuals from Qatar identifies three clear clusters of genotypes with the third cluster comprising individuals with high African admixture .
Bedouins are “tent-dwelling” nomads who roamed the deserts of Middle East; they epitomize the best adaptation of human life to desert conditions . In much of the Middle East and North Africa, the term Bedouin is used to descriptively differentiate between those (bedu) whose livelihood is based on raising livestock by mainly natural graze and those (hadar) who have an agricultural or urban base . Bedouins are originally desert-dwelling tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and are particularly descendants of (i) those settled in the southwestern Arabia, in the mountains of Yemen; and (ii) those settled in North-Central Arabia. Bedouins started to spread out to surrounding deserts of Middle East (particularly Arabian and Syrian deserts) and North Africa (particularly Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and the Sahara Desert of North Africa) due to repeated droughts, growing population and tribal wars. While the “pure” urban-dwelling Arabian tribes formed the leadership class and owned vast amounts of lands, the nomadic Bedouins often worked in the lands of the Arab tribes or tended sheep and camels and moved from one location to another in search of grazing grounds. The Bedouins, as tradition dictated, often married cousins. Marrying within the family helped strengthen bonds among extended families struggling to survive the desert. This centuries-old custom of intermarriage has had devastating genetic effects .
The mitochondrial haplogroup (indication of maternal ancestry) of the Bedouin participant is determined as L3d1a1a [L3d], that is predominantly seen in West-Central Africa—among the Fulani , Chadians , Ethiopians , Akan people , Mozambique , and Yemen . Kivisild et al.  analyzed mitochondrial DNA variations in 115 volunteer Yemeni donors in Kuwait (who claimed that their maternal origin was in Yemen) and found that the L macro-haplogroup (the most ancestral mitochondrial lineage) is seen in 47% of the 115 Yemeni individuals; they further found that 20 (17.4%) of the 115 Yemeni participants has the L3 mitochondrial haplogroup (that are most frequently found in sub-Saharan Africa); of these 20 participants, 6 (5.21% of 115 participants) displayed the L3d1 subclade that we observe for the individual sequenced in this study. Thus, the observation of L3d1 haplogroup for the participant in our study is consistent with Yemeni maternal origin. In order to further illustrate that the above observed L3d1 mitochondrial haplogroup is characteristic of the Bedouin sample sequenced in this study, we examined the mitochondrial haplogroups that we identified for a control group of 16 individuals from the other two subgroups of Kuwaiti population (see Supplementary Table S2); none of these 16 samples exhibit the clades of the L macro-haplogroup. Kivisild et al.  further compared haplotype diversity seen in Yemeni participants with those reported for Ethiopian population (East Africa); their results highlight the complexity of Ethiopian and Yemeni genetic heritage and are consistent with the introduction of maternal lineages into the South Arabian gene pool from different source populations of East Africa. Horn of Africa (a peninsula in the eastern region of the African sub-continent, enclosing Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea) is separated from the south Arabian Peninsula (particularly Yemen) by a short distance of only ~ 10 miles at the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb (the Gate of Tears); the distance across is only ~ 20 miles from Ras Menheli in Yemen to Ras Siyyan in Djibouti. Outside of Africa, L3d is mainly found in African Americans; approximately 6% of all African Americans are descendents of the L3d family line .