A curious custom among the Kabyles
“There is a very curious custom prevalent among the Kabyles called the anaya, which they all equally respect. The anaya is both a passport and a safe conduct, with this difference, that instead of its being delivered by the legal authority of any constituted power, every Kabyle has the right to give it. Not only is the foreigner or stranger who travels in Kabylia under the protection of the anaya, free from violence during their journey, but they are also temporarily able to brave the vengeance of their enemies or the penalty due for an anterior crime.
The Kabyles rarely confer it on people who are unknown to them; they only give it once to a fugitive; they regard it as worthless if it has been sold, and anyone who obtains it by stratagem incurs the penalty of death. In order to prevent fraud, the anaya is usually made known by an ostensible sign. The person who confers it delivers at the same time, as an extra guarantee, an object well known to belong to him, such as a gun or a stick. Sometimes he sends one of his servants or even accompanies his protégé himself.
The value of the anaya is in proportion to the quality of the person who gives it. Coming from a Kabyle of an inferior position, it will be respected in his village and in the immediate neighbourhood; but if it is given by a man who is esteemed in an adjoining tribe, it will be renewed by a friend, who will substitute his own for it, and so on until the traveller reaches the end of his journey. If it is given by a Marabout, its value is unlimited. While a Kabyle chief can only give his protection within the circle of his own government, the safe-conduct of a Marabout reaches even to places where his name is unknown. Whoever is the bearer of it can travel all through Kabylia without fear of molestation, whatever may be the number of his enemies of the nature of their grievances against him. He will only have to present himself to the Marabouts of the different tribes, an d each will hasten to do the honour to the anaya of the preceding Marabout and replace it by his own.
A Kabyle has nothing so much at heart as the inviolability of his anaya. In giving it he engages not only his own personal honour, but also that of his relatives, his friends, his village and, in fact, the tribe to which he belongs. A man who would not be able to find a friend to aid him in avenging himself for a personal insult, could cause the entire population of his village to rise if it were a question of his anaya being disrespected. It is extremely rare that this ever happens, but tradition has, nevertheless, preserved to posterity a memorable example of it. As the story runs, a friend of a Zouaoui presented himself one day at his house and asked for the anaya. In the master’s absence, the wife, who was rather embarrassed, gave the fugitive a dog which was well known in that part of the country. Shortly after he had left, the dog covered with blood, returned alone. The inhabitants of the village assembled, and, following the traces of the animal discovered the traveller’s body. They declared war to the tribe upon whose territory the crime had been committed, a great deal of blood was shed, and the village which was compromised in the quarrel bears even to this day the name of Thadert ukjun: The village of the dog.”
– The Gentlemans Magazine
And during this time among the carriers of civilizations