The Berbers of North Africa: Genetic Relationships According to HLA and other Polymorphisms

  • A. Sanchez-Mazas


The term “Berber” refers to a language family, including, among others, the Tamazight and Kabyle languages (Ruhlen 1987). The Berber people presently live in several areas of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), as well as some Saharan regions in Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Mali and Senegal (Figure 1). Some Berber populations live in small communities in remote regions scattered across the Sahara desert, while others are partly assimilated to Arabic-speaking populations. Arabic and Berber belong to different language groups but to the same linguistic phylum, Afro-Asiatic. This phylum includes about 240 languages which are also spoken in East Africa and western Asia.


Sahara Desert Arab Population Coancestry Coefficient North African Population Saharan Region 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sanchez-Mazas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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