Monday, August 16, 2010

Tizi Ouzou : Kabylia (Algeria)

The area is populated by the Kabyles, a Berber ethnic group , the second most populous Berber people after the Chleuhs in Morocco. They speak the Kabyle variety of Berber. The Kabyle people have always inhabited the peaks of the Algerian Highlands, the eastern parts of the Atlas Mountains, located in modern Algeria. Several sources, from anthropology to the genome, conclude that the Kabyles are autochthonous inhabitants of this territory, to which they refer as "Homeland".



Kabyle-speaking lands


Addendum : Y-DNA in the Western Mediterranean

  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Dark complexion (black eyes, black hair, tanned skin, ...), leptomorphic, arched convex nose (droopy tip), close-set eyes, full lips, deeply drawn lines around the oral cavity
~ Dinaromorphic Mediterranean




This phenotype is what might be dubbed "Arabid" by most authors : it's very common in North Africa. A rarer and depigmented variant is very unique to the area : it exhibits very local Kabyle features such as rufosity, high cheekbones, strong browridges, ... which link these individuals with the second type.




- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (pinky cheeks, light green-grey eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, rather large face, little and low-rooted puffy nose, wide forehead, bulbous temples, large and strong jaws, close-set eyes (rather little eyelids), general coarse features
~ Berberid




This is a very common type in Algeria, and elsewhere in Maghreb. It might be particularly associated with Berber-speaking people. Zidenine Zidane might be a good example of such type.



  • Final morphotypes :

12 comments:

  1. I don't know how Zidane fits in the 'Berberid' group, which seems defined by a flat face. I don't even know why you always have to create two typological groups, when it's obvious that there are more (or in rare cases, less).

    Well, whatever. My impression is that most faces look rather alien to what we find in Europe, even in the Mediterranean. This is particularly marked in the case of some of your "Berberids" (A8, D2 - C1 to some extent - but he also looks "Nordic" to me at the same time), a very characteristic North African type that to me always reminds of Khoisan people - albeit vaguely.

    In the first group, "Arabids", the main distinction with Europeans seems to be in the nose area, which is more prominent and wider at the lower area. This is indeed a trait shared with some peoples from West Asia, not just Arabs but also some peoples of the Caucasus, I'd say. When this trait is not present only less characteristic traits such as thinly curly hair make them apart from Europeans.

    A few however look very much Euro. In particular D4 looks "Irish", displaying a very low face that I consider "cromagnid" and no particular transmediterranean trait except the curly hair.

    Other Euro looking males are C5, very similar to the previous but less robust and giving a 'Jewish look' (maybe because many Ashkenazi Jews also display that Nordo-Afroasiatic ambiguity).

    A6 and C2 (and certainly Zidane) also look very much Euro to me. C3 would do but the nose/lips area betrays him somewhat (ambiguous anyhow). Some women also do but I'm focusing on males because they are easier to discern for me in most cases.

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