Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oran's Jews (Algeria)

Contrary to other North African communities, most Jews in Oran descended from Iberian Jews expelled from the peninsula.



  • Sample :
Larger size


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Intermediate complexion (black eyes though light eyes are not uncommon, black hair, tanned skin, ...), leptomorphic, arched convex nose (droopy tip), close-set eyes, full lips, deeply drawn lines around the oral cavity
~ Dinaromorphic Mediterranean





 
  


I've now thought to get rid of my antiquated terminology in favour of more simple items but I'm a romantic so I still use it. Basically speaking, we have got lepto against brachy. Those are the lepto individuals from the sample : the type is mostly masculine with very few women being elongated. 

Some individuals look plainly European (Italian, Iberian, ...) while others show features rather associated with the Middle-East.


- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (varied eyes, black hair, ...), brachymorphic, coarse features, large face, massive and low-rooted nose that can get convex, full lips, somehow wide-set eyes
~ Alpinoid


  


Brachymorphic types seem to be quite widespread in this sample. Convex-nosed types dubbed "Armenoid" might be more typical. The least that can be said is that those people differ from local Muslim Algerians.




  • Final morphotypes :

34 comments:

  1. Most do not look neither Iberian nor North African. Exceptions could be: A7 (rather African-looking, a bit like Egyptian President Morsi), while C2 and C5 have a Pyrenean-Med look, maybe "Catalan".

    Also A3 and A6 give me a French vibe (typical long nose like Chirac, you know), while B8 and C3 give a more Euro-Med vibe, maybe Italian-like. C8 and D8 could be undefined Western Europeans.

    Otherwise they seem to come in two main "flavors": Armenoid (for example A1, A4, B1, B4, D7) and what could be described as an Alpinoid variant with some "pseudo-Mongoloid" tendency (C1, C7, D1, D2 and D3). As happens with the "pseudo-Mongoloid" Basque variant, this one is more obvious in women.

    D5 is interesting because he has a curious look around the eyes, maybe caused by eyes too narrow, that I have seen in some other Jews like Finklestein or some whose name I can't recall. D7 already mentioned among Armenoids has a very typical Cypriot-Lebanese look.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Iberian Jews went only to Oran? The introduction's statement left me perplexed. The expelled Sephardi Jews settled throughout Morocco and Algeria , not only in Oran. I think what was meant here is that Jews of Oran often spoke Judeo-Spanish , which is a unique case , but this is mainly due to an influx of Haketia-speaking Jews from North Morocco towards Algeria in the contempory era.
    Iberian Jews settling in Algeria in the XVth century, were not necesarrily Spanish-speaking , in fact according to many edvidences of their regional ascendancy (Catalonia , Valencia , Baleares , Livorno etc) , a large part were most likely Judeo-Catalan and Mozarabic speakers. These languages went dead as soon as the expelled ones started metling with local Jews and integrating into the Moorish society.

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    1. As my ancestors are coming from Oran , I can say that some did come from Northern Morocco , while some directly from Spain .
      Melting with the local Jews and Moorish society is not true.
      Into the Moorish society , I can say say practically never did they "melted" together . As for the local Jews , it was not easy for the local Jews to integrate into the Spanish population either , only after many generations , after the 1870 Cremieux Law , and education , only then the integration became possible.

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    2. All Algerian Jews were integrated in the Moorish society , add to that it only took less than one century for Sephardic Jews after their arrival in the 14 and 15th century to melt with local Jews , impose their religious lithurgy and adopt local Arabic. In here I do no include relatively recent Jews settled in Oran , who still spoke Judeo-Spanish but whom originally arrived from North Morocco in the 1840's.

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    3. Anyway local Jews in Algeria always had strong contacts with Iberia hack why Jews in Catolonia , Valencia or Balearic Islands took the way to Algeria in 1391 for instance. They had bussiness already there. When they arrived the formers settled in various cities both in the coasts and the interrior land forming at first seperated groups , but since the whole Iberian Jewry collapsed in 1492 , the Iberian Jews integrated to the Moorish society only keeping the Sephardic customs and lithurgy, they were helped by their own counterparts , the Morsicos , who arrived just after them , and formed a similar 'Andalusian Arabic culture'. They were no 'Spanish population' anymore. It must be your imagination. The local Jews mixed with them throughout centuries to the point in the contempory era it was impossible in most cases to make the difference (same for Morocco). They formed a single community , heck lots Sephardic Jews tended to adopt an Arabic kind of surname , by either translating the surname (Vitalis became Ayache-Life in both Latin and Arabic) , phonetical modification (Catalan surname Cesportes became Chicheportiche) or using as surname deriving from a job they used to have. Some Jews already carried Arabic surnames , especially in regions where Muslims were majority (Valencia , Andalusia etc).

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  5. wow thanks man for the effort :).
    IMO they don't really look like sephardi israelis that much. This is what i think when i think of sephardim:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_B1JtfOpd85I/SmXmGAdGNnI/AAAAAAAAQ78/ocRJ0UaCq40/s400/gai+assulin+barcelona.jpg
    http://content.mcfc.com/~/media/Images/Home/News/Club%20news/2011/January/Gai%20Assulin%20at%20supporters%20club.ashx?mh=450&mw=800
    for some reason i think they look less jewish from sephardic isralis. the people you posted are'nt israeli right?
    they also don't look much like Ashkenazim, which is surprising since ashkenazim and sephardim cluster pretty close. interesting..

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  6. Those people are Oranese-born Jews now living in France (hence the fact this sample is older than other samples). IMO their appearance is rather consistent with my knowledge of Algerian Jews in France. I'll try a sample of Tunisian Jews as well.

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  7. Yeah i figured they were'nt israelis. I came across works of various anthropolists(including a jewish one) that proposed that the quality of looking jewish goes somewhat hand-in-hand with social factors. Maybe that's why Israeli sephardic jews look more jewish than french ones.

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  8. The main types are as Heraus set them out but the Dinaromorphic Mediterranean is really mainly the Cappadocian type of Coon, also called the Assyroid type of Biasutti.

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  9. How about Belmonte Jews from eastern Portugal as a means of comparison with Oran Jews.

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