Traditional Berber religion

The traditional Berber religion is the ancient and native set of beliefs and deities adhered to by the Berbers (Amazigh autochthones) of North Africa. Many ancient Amazigh beliefs were developed locally, whereas others were influenced over time through contact with other ancient Egyptian religion, or borrowed during antiquity from the Punic religion, Judaism, Iberian mythology, and the Hellenistic religion. The most recent influence came from Islam and religion in pre-Islamic Arabia during the medieval period. Some of the ancient Amazigh beliefs still exist today subtly within the Amazigh popular culture and tradition. Syncretic influences from the traditional Amazigh religion can also be found in certain other faiths.

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Funerary practices

Archaeological research on prehistoric tombs in the Maghreb shows that the bodies of the dead were painted with ochre. While this practice was known to the Iberomaurusians, this culture seems to have been primarily a Capsian industry. The dead were also sometimes buried with shells of ostrich eggs, jewelry, and weapons. Bodies were usually buried in a fetal position.

Unlike the majority of mainland Berbers, the Guanches mummified the dead. Additionally, in 1958 University of Rome Professor Fabrizio Mori (1925-2010) discovered a Libyan mummy around 5,500 years old — roughly a thousand years older than any known Ancient Egyptian mummy. ...read more

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