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Title: Tamazgha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Berberism, Body modification, Pan-nationalism, Maghreb, Tattoo
Collection: Berberism, Divided Regions, Geographical Neologisms, Maghreb, Proposed Countries
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Tamazgha or Tamazɣa (in Tifinagh script: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰ) is an Amazigh word employed for the area equally known as the Greater Maghreb, covering the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Niger River, from Siwa Oasis to the Canary Islands.

Although the root azigh is likely ancient, ta-Maz'gh-a as a country name is modern, coined in the context of Amazigh Nationalism. It appeared for the first time in Algeria in the seventies. It is not clear at all who invented it. Some say it was Mouloud Mammeri (1917–1989). According to others, it was Kateb Yacine (1929–1989).

The main inhabited areas of Tamazgha are northern Libya and the Atlas Mountains chain from Tunisia to Western Sahara. It corresponds roughly to Herodotus' Libya, and to the medieval European term Barbary.

The term is used by Amazigh activists because there was not originally a common word that refers to all the geographical territory inhabited by the Amazigh, since the Amazigh live in several countries, and they are not united politically, with many scattered around the World by the Amazigh Diaspora. So, the name has been created to define an Amazigh Nation, and unify the people of the Tamazgha, or the Great Maghreb with their original culture. Many philologists sort this term like neologism, built from traditional Tamazight language terms (i.e. Tamazight, Tamurt an Imazighen, Tamazirt.)

The term has been translated into Spanish as Mazigia. It abbreviated as MZG and used as an alternative international license plate code for some people [1].

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