Sahar Amarir Profile picture
Aug 17, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Something that really is bothering me as a Moroccan Amazigh is that neither those accusing #Madonna of #culturalappropriation nor those defending her are actually talking about this headpiece and its history.
Read below for a little but real sneakpeek of it 👇
A lot of Berber headpieces are common to different Berber tribes from the same region or even from different regions.
This particular headpiece is only worn by one small confederation of Berbers called Ait Baamrane
They are found in the vicinity of the city of Sidi Ifni and composed by very few tribes and multiple clans. It is impossible for a Berber woman wearing this to be mistaken for a Berber from any other place by a fellow Berber.
The Ait Baamrane were partly nomads and were one of the most reknowned warrior Berber tribes all over Morocco. Their prowess is also something the Ait Baamrane women were particularly known for.
All berber women were to an extent welcome to participate in various war efforts, but the Ait Baamrane women were akin to local Amazons. It is said that this warrior reputation is the reason why this headpiece is only worn by them and has this particular look with horns
(there are no other Berber headpieces in Morocco that have horns, and from what I know of Algerian, Tunisian and Libyan Berbers they don't have it either).
Their lands were in an enclave of Spanish colonization in the middle of the part of Morocco that was colonized by France. It is said that in some of their villages, up to half of the men were killed while resisting to Spanish colonization.
Because women were not perceived as being capable warriors, the Spaniards usually were not suspicious of them and local women took advantage of that.
They took over their deceased or imprisoned men as shepherds (which is traditionally a job for men) and used the sheeps they hearded as a way to attack garrisons of Spanish soldiers.
They would not shave the sheeps and would let the wool grow in order to be long enough to hide the bombs they would strap to their bellies. The rumor goes that this caused a local shortage of wool made products and meat at the highest peak of tensions.
The Ait Baamrane are amongst the Berber tribes who resisted colonization the longest (and faced brutal repression for doing so) and among those who fought the hardest during decolonization.
Their rebellion against the Spaniards in the late 50's after the French decolonization is what paved the way for decolonization of Spanish occupied Morocco. To this day, every year there is a local celebration of the Ait Baamrane uprising
So cultural appropriation or not, I hope we can use this to highlight this part of Moroccan Amazigh history 🙃

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