The New York Times, 1873 : A curious custom among the Kabyles

We are told that the English, the French and the Arab Muslims are the carriers of civilizations that improve the lot of the vanquished people and of all humanity.
What we know about the methods of these civilizers is that the liberty of the individual, their physical integrity, and their lives are worth less than the rope that the English use to hang hen thieves.
Among the French people who allegedly had spoke proud about the first declaration of human rights and free speech, the heads of speakers rolled as a result of the unprecedented civilizing invention that is the guillotine.
The Arabo-Muslims “people” proudly claims to be the advocates and armed soldiers of a god who only knows the stoning of woman accused of adultery by their husbands. A god who wants beheading for apostasy and who values the life of a poor less than an egg as it is written in the Quran.
The people they conquered, however, have given wonderful values to humanity. The following is a testimony of The New York Times on the anaya; a concept which is nonexistent anywhere else but in Kabylia.

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

The New York Times, published December 14th, 1873


And during this time among the carriers of civilizations

hanging in London

guillotined in Paris


Stoning of a woman among Arab Muslims



  • On peut tout faire avaler aux kabyles…imazighens c’est déjà fait.
    Quand je lie ce genre de sornettes ,je suis dans tous mes états..Comment bordel un étranger peut-il savoir tamazight pour nous donner le sens non les kabyles..eux même. C’est toujours à travers les autres que l’on apprend l’histoire des kabyles…Où est-elle la logique? Que peuvent savoir les ricains sur un terme amazigh alors que l’Amérique n’existe depuis à peine 300 ans.
    Je sais que l’occident a récupéré toute l’histoire passé à travers les traitres mais tout de même.
    Mais quand je vois tous les termes kabyles ou amazigh dont je connais que ces dernier font passer por de l’arabe je me dis les ricains comme tous les nihilistes peuvent faire dire n’importe quoi . hélas j’ai fait l’expérience sur l’ignorance avec des kabyles sois disant avec un niveau correct sur des mots simples qui prennent du kabyle pour de l’arabe qui ma foi n’existe pas en réalité car c’est une imposture.

    “Les habitants du village assemblé, et, suivant les traces de l’animal découvert le corps du voyageur. Ils ont déclaré la guerre à la tribu sur le territoire duquel le crime avait été commis, beaucoup de sang a été versé, et le village qui a été compromis dans la querelle porte encore aujourd’hui le nom de Thadert ukjun: Le village du chien « .
    c’est une histoire qui ne tient pas la route pour plusieurs raisons… existe deux villages en basse Kabylie qui se nomment ikedjan. L’histoire fait croire que c’est là qu’un yéménite arabe (une blague) est venu islamisé la kabyles.
    ikdjan …et non” iqjan”..

  • By: Dahmane At Ali, University. University of Pisa, Italy. Pisa. October 30, 2014.NDLR: this communication was sent by the author to the Kabyle National Convention held in At Wavan on October 31 and November 1, 2014.

    KABYLIA IS A NATION, some still speak of “Kabyle particularism” preferring to use the terminology borrowed from French Jacobinism; even the defenders of the present unbearable status-quo, i.e., the maintenance of the enslavement of our people within the central state erected in Algiers, all agree on this incontestable sociopolitical fact which singularly characterizes Kabylia. However, they are careful not to question the origin of this fact, we understand them in this!

    In thanking the organizers for giving me this opportunity to express myself through this short contribution, it seemed to me crucial to focus my remarks on the right of peoples to self-determination, or the right to self-determination. . Indeed, this principle of international law states that every people has a free choice to determine the form of its political regime, independently of any foreign influence. To this end, I would like to return with emphasis to the genesis of the Kabyle question, in particular by underlining in two respects the claim, particularly the right of the Kabyle people to self-determination.

    The Resurgence of a memory of independence.
    Nearly 14 years after the unspeakable massacre of the “black spring”, remained royally unpunished, Kabyle society numbed by bipolar clan feuds seems to brutally recover its dormant secular memory. It gradually reassumes the reminiscences of a distant memory of independence buried in the depths of its collective conscience whose atavism has remained alive. Lucidly, the Kabyle people take note of the unavoidable reality of their condition. From now on, his society is indeed a nation in its own right, sociologically aggregated and harmoniously shaped by so many centuries of common history. Carried by its masses, Kabylie is deliberately distinguished from the Algerian socio-ethnic conglomerate in perpetual identity misadventure. If I mention today the obvious resurgence of this ancient memory of independence of Kabylia, it is to instill more vigor, such as to stimulate this salutary awareness, especially among our valiant youth in search of benchmarks reliable in a world undergoing profound change and geopolitical reconfiguration. For it is especially to this Kabyle youth, the backbone of the human component of the Kabylie of tomorrow, that this challenge of existence arises. It is quite naturally to her, more than to any other part of the present Kabyle society, that it is the duty to claim her imprescriptible right of self-determination as a nation. A nation endowed with all the legal attributes that this concept, eminently political, confers on it in the framework of international law. Because this right is inalienable to him, if our youth knew how to assume it resolutely, no one could deprive it of it …

    A nation, forged by the constant adversity and vicissitudes of the centuries, asserts itself
    So, based on historical, political, sociolinguistic and cultural considerations let’s say from the outset that Taqbaylit, Tamurt Taqbaylit (or Kabylie if you prefer, the name you want to give it is not important at this stage of the struggle) and his people are a developing nation, and today they are reaching the stage of fulfillment after so many centuries of incubation. Also, the Kabyle nation now has all the enviable assets and attributes required to dare to assert its national independence without worrying about its future in its immediate environment and regional geopolitical space. In fact, Kabylia, from the geographical point of view, occupies a geostrategic territory of the first order. For centuries, it has established itself in a central position in the Mediterranean basin, cradle of Humanity, at the confluence of universal civilizations. The Kabyle people are a sedentary people strongly attached to their land and culture. Industrial by nature, he is generously endowed with a hard-working and competent human potential, rich in highly qualified executives, globally appreciated. The Kabyle nation has remarkable territorial wealth, natural resources, water and land more than sufficient that allow it to quickly ensure its food self-sufficiency and energy autonomy. These assets suggest that in just a few years, it will achieve technological growth and economic opulence.

    By reassuming its political independence as before, Kabylia should not be worried about the economic viability of its future state. As for the cultural dimension, the backbone of any project of political emancipation of a nation, the authenticity of the Kabyle language several thousand years old, the democratic and republican character of its socio-political structures the secularism of its confessional mores, the coherence of its history, its customs and its social traditions, the uniqueness of fictitious representations of its common imaginary, its cognitive symbolism and its myths etc … to mention only these aspects, are all constituent elements that solidly reinforce its social cohesion. Thus, for those who do not clearly discern it, it would be precisely this profound spatiotemporal homogeneity of the Kabyle nation that would thwart the clearly admitted designs of alienated assimilationists of Algerian Jacobinism. For it is indeed this tangible reality that emanates this Kabyle nationalist sentiment which undoubtedly characterizes its belated, disparaged inclination to differentiate itself from the rest of the populations under Algerian administration and, consequently, its irrevocable refusal to dissolve itself in the world. The Kabyle nation, the gestation of a brutally phagocytic ecosystem. To illustrate the subjugation of our people by a regime of the colonial type (we must qualify categories by their exact nature), usurper of popular sovereignty moreover, let’s take a simple example, the Kabyle cultural identity. We have our own intellectuals, our thinkers, our writers, our journalists, our media, our artists, our sportsmen and so on. ; so original compared to their Algerian counterparts in their respective intellectual, artistic and cultural expressions. This aspect clearly reflects the socio-cultural segmentation that so characterized colonial and post-colonial Algeria. Also, no politico-cultural body, imbued with all the benevolent inclinations, could succeed in harmoniously unifying the two antagonistic antipodes of this Algeria of pyrotechnicians, without risk of contributing to the most untenable contradictions on the Algerian social plan. The reality is even more stubborn! In fact, to put it in a nutshell, Kabylia has always been an autonomous ecosystem that has evolved separately, not only on the Algerian level, but throughout the North African area of ​​a country. more extensive way, through the pivotal times in the history of Tamazgha. The Kabyle nation is once again facing a historical destiny. His remarkable nationalist predisposition, unique in North Africa, unfortunately did not have enough respite to evolve freely towards its natural completion. For, it must be noted a decisive historical fact, it is incidentally at the very moment when the nation-states that we know today, ie towards the second half of the eleventh century were born that, by an ironic contest of history, Kabylia lost its sovereignty. The process of nationalization crystallization in gestation was then brutally interrupted, phagocyted by exogenous elements that were grafted through the irruption of French colonialism within it. The insurrection of 1871 repressed in the blood was the first reaction. Even today, as in the past, the State of Algiers continues to hinder its achievement. He perseveres in his zeal to refuse him the choice of self-determination, of self-management and of emancipation fully to the extent of his capacities to complete this natural process of erection that has been brutally interrupted.However, for the moment, we find ourselves in front of a dilemma of existence of a major gravity. If we still procrastinate to determine ourselves, to build up our protective state, we will disappear ineluctably. Faster than we think! Kabyle socio-cultural specificities are dangerously threatened both from within and from outside, today more than in the past. On the one hand, because without any structural immunity, we evolve within a macrocosm constituted by a Franco-Arab-Islamist predatory neocolonialism established within our own borders. Beyond this, and in spite of ourselves, we are at the mercy of a rampant globalization, which makes no detail of regional cultures and, more than anything, fundamentally based on the most unfair greed on the economic level. by a fatal combination of circumstances, the nonvoluntary dependence of the Other (although some cultivate it by design) constitutes the Gordian knot of “The Kabyle Question”. For, as Mark W. B. Brinton puts it, “A man’s worth is not measured by his money, status, or possessions. The value of a man lies in his character, personality, wisdom, ability and creativity, courage, independence and maturity. ” Thus, by voluntarily indulging ourselves to get bogged down in the Algerian shambles, we will always be the victim of this one. Because, numerically we will not represent more than a third of its population, even a quarter of the number of its inhabitants and therefore fully and democratically It is dependent on actions, decisions and non-decisions (as is often the custom in these countries) of a feudal, autocratic regime which, not only is not ours, but even worse, it constitutes our enemy. the most determined to our elimination. See the report, and ponder yourself that despite thousands of street demonstration marches, that no other people in the world has organized so much in the last 50 years, this unspeakable regime continues insidiously to kill us slowly if not we shoot straight at it and stubbornly refuse to recognize our status as a people. In other words, without a state that is genuinely ours, we will remain forever a nation under the yoke, impassively submissive to the mercy of the numerical majority of this state whose regime, to continue, constantly returns against us. We will thus remain a nation eternally subject to the wishes of the governing caste. Set against each other by the Machiavellian instrumentalizations of his clans competing for power over our heads, as we intercede in the political arenas they carefully prepare for each contingent electoral contest to brighten their performances. The Kabyle people are thus spatially isolated, ghettoized and stifled by persisting within Algeria, which nevertheless denies them in their existence, dragged to their defending body, bound hand and foot, in perpetual fights for causes that are rarely his, who even serve his interests. He is thus daily forced to ensure his economic subsistence aberrated by an untenable fiscal spin imposed on him, and to ensure its socio-cultural survival with material and financial means so derisory, which are invariably allocated to him with a sordid parsimony, when these humiliating crumbs are not denied him simply. Such is the current situation, not very brilliant, of the Kabylia bequeathed to us by our ancestors, which was formerly economically autonomous and politically independent.Between the claws of a new colonial state: “There is nothing new under the sun” said Ecclesiastes more than a century and a half ago (157 years), after the traditional socio-political structures of our village society were brutally dismantled and our customs and customs became the target of fierce destruction by the French colonial administration, we we always find ourselves subjected to the same process of exogenous Franco-Arab-Islamist acculturation. This ideological formatting aims to erase our collective consciousness to make us Arab Muslim subjects by assimilation. Then, in the aftermath of the decolonization war we believe of independence, the new heir State, liberated by the blood and the supreme sacrifice of more than 12.5% ​​of our population, pursues with the same hatred, the same ferocity the same genocidal designs as his predecessor seems to have traced to him. Thus, from the summit of more than five millennia of our existence on African soil, we are only today allowed to concede the choice between disappearing from the surface of the earth or accepting our forced assimilation. To be exterminated culturally or to obey without reluctance to merge completely in the Arab-Islamist base which is not our natural matrix and of which, moreover, the center of gravity is in distant Asia. In this dark prospect that crosses the the Kabyle nation, the Arab-Islamic Islamist ideological buffoon, by its autocratic character of self-legitimation of usurped power, inspired in this by the former French colonial power, is slyly determined to suppress in the blood all attempts at protest, to Failure to oppose our right to self-determination. Thus, as we can see, the colonial policy thus initiated by France and pursued with the zealous zeal, by its present heirs, aims at the same supreme objective: that of completing the work of pacification interrupted by the heroic 7 and a half years of Kabyle armed insurrection. This policy consists first of all in mystifying the masses, misinforming them in order to better alienate them, control them, subordinate them so that they can then enslave them. Indefinitely. It is therefore not surprising to note that throughout history, all the states established in Algiers and historical Kabylia had always been part of an almost permanent relationship of confrontation for several centuries, regardless of the ruling power. who settled there on its borders: Ottoman, French then Algerian. Unfortunately for us, since that fateful June 24, 1857, this balance of power having leaned tragically in our disfavor, the colonial power established in Algiers could invade, annex our country and we fall of our secular independence. The ramatious condition of ever-crushing decay has remained a gaping wound that has never healed until our people are buried in the depths of their collective consciousness, except for the ephemeral period of the 1954-1962 decolonization war. the cyclical episodes of popular uprisings (recurrent resistance) which, precisely, still bear witness to this fact.The Kabyle youth, a vital force, surreptitiously arrives at maturity. No one dares to assert that all the rhetoric developed in the four preceding paragraphs does not constitute nothing more than a pathetic jeremiade of exalted pastist, a string of anachronistic lamenta, devoid of foundation, totally disconnected from reality. Without wanting to make fun of the Kabyles who continue to surf complacently on these anathemas, because my Kabyle modesty and my discursive probity do not allow me to resort to sarcasm, taken out of arguments. I prefer however to address myself here to our youth, the torch gate and the future of our nation. Seeing her the other time scrolling through the streets with flags that not only are not theirs, but even represent the standard of war for those who murder and enslave them, I was so disappointed, feeling something not responsible for failing my generational transmission. I would thus like to open my eyes to this ardent and vigorous youth of life, which I know to be mature and intelligent, by questioning it with a benevolent and crucial question. Young Kabyles from the womb of our mothers and our grandmothers, tomorrow, you will be happy to found homes, to generate fertile descent, how, not having a state that is really yours, count you succeed in faithfully transmitting to him the secular heritage left to you by our parents and our ancestors, because having reached the age of schooling, it is in a foreign language, in a repository of socio-cultural values ​​totally incompatible with our customs, that your children would be forced to receive their education! From the height of your maturity, it is to this type of mature question that it would be advisable to think in order to determine you in relation to the serious subject which is in question here. In doing so, do not forget to meditate on what Montesquieu said: “In a well-regulated monarchy, the subjects are like fish in a big net, they think they are free and yet they are caught! “. Although always addressing my youth, it goes without saying that the category of my compatriots who disapprove of my spite (without denying them this right) have not yet clearly assimilated their serious inconsistency and their blind unconsciousness of history … Of their own history! I will not say more for now. Can they only support in all honesty, that the survival and identity permanence of a population of 10 million Kabyles, in a North Africa populated nearly 10 times more than three quarters of whom are hardly Amazigh-speaking, is guaranteed? For the moment this deposit is a chimera; the struggle and the resistance would therefore continue to constitute an imprescriptible duty of each and every one of us, because more than ever required by a ruthless daily, at least until we one day succeed in giving us the appropriate means, to protect ourselves effectively, to safeguard our thousand-year-old identity, our ancestral culture, to preserve our socio-political values ​​by building up together our own state institutions, solidly grounded in an authentically Kabyle base capable of ensuring a salutary permanence in peace and a lasting existence with a dignity that is in harmony with all the nations of this world. This historical reminder, which is certainly long but edifying, makes it possible to explain clearly to our young people the underpinning and the sociohistorical depth of the permanence of this perpetual conflictual relationship of ” dominated versus dominated “,” adjusted “by political means, military and economic by the State of Algiers to submit Kabylia forever. Now, at a time when we are torn sharply by the question of our identity existence, the magic potion to our question of survival is becoming more and more rare. It is therefore important to unite, but not to isolate ourselves, and to collectively push in the same direction to reach the right destination. The only direction, equitable for all the constituent political forces of our nation, and likely to lead us there without risk to disintegrate us socially, is the organization of a referendum of self-determination to restore to our people its dignity. It is a question of putting fate truly in the hands of the Kabyle citizen. CITIZEN KABYLE, he alone will express his sovereign choice freely as to the political status he would like to see attributed to his country Kabylia. Does it prefer to become independent and finally enjoy sovereignty on a par with other nations or remain a mere region administered and governed by the State of Algiers, as it has never ceased to be since 1857?

    By: Dahmane At Ali, University. University of Pisa, Italy. Pisa. October 30, 2014.NDLR: this communication was sent by the author to the Kabyle National Convention held in At Wavan on October 31 and November 1, 2014.

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