Atlantis Online
September 19, 2021, 05:50:43 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Scientists Confirm Historic Massive Flood in Climate Change
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20060228/
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Berber mythology

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Berber mythology  (Read 1582 times)
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« on: January 25, 2008, 01:28:20 pm »

Berber beliefs or Amazigh beliefs are the beliefs of the indigenous Berber people of North Africa (not to be confused with the Ancient Egyptians or the Nubians). These beliefs were influenced primarily by the beliefs of the Berber’s Egyptian neighbors, as well as by other people who lived in the area, such as Phoenicians, Jews, Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans.

Beliefs Concerning Death

Berber beliefs concerning death changed over time, as evidenced by differing burial customs and tomb types.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berber_mythology
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2008, 01:23:32 pm »

The funerary practices

Archaeological research on pre-historic tombs in Northwestern Africa shows that the body of the dead were painted with red ochre. While this practice was known to the Ibero-maurussians, this culture seems to have been primarily a Capsian culture. The dead were also sometimes buried with shells of ostrich eggs, jewelry, and weapons. Bodies were sometimes placed on one side and folder, while others where buried in a fetal position.

Unlike the Berbers, the Guanches mummified the dead. Additionally, Fabrizio Mori discovered a Libyan mummy older than any comparable Ancient Egyptian mummy in 1958.
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 01:24:17 pm »

Cult of the dead

The authors of the book The Berbers stated that the cult of the death was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Berbers in antiquity. Pomponius Mela reported that the Augelae (Modern Awjila in Libya) considered the spirits of their ancestors to be gods. They swore by them and consulted them. After making requests, they slept in their tombs to await responses in dreams

Herodotus (484 BC–ca.425 BC) noted the same practice among the Nasamones who inhabited the deserts around Siwa and Augila. He wrote:

[..]They swear by the men among themselves who are reported to have been the most righteous and brave, by these, I say, laying hands upon their tombs; and they divine by visiting the sepulchral mounds of their ancestors and lying down to sleep upon them after having prayed; and whatsoever thing the man sees in his dream, this he accepts.

The worship of saints still exists among the modern Berbers in the form of Maraboutism, which is wide spread in northwest Africa, especially in Morocco. The Berbers worshipped their kings, too. The tombs of the Numidian kings are among the most notable monuments left by the Classical Berbers.
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2008, 01:25:22 pm »

Ancient Berber Tombs

The tombs of the early Berbers and their ancestors indicate that the Berbers and their ancestors (the Ibero-maurussians and Capsians) believed in life after death. The prehistoric men of northwest Africa buried bodies in little holes. When they realized that bodies buried in unsecured holes were dug up by wild animals, they began to bury them in deeper ones. Later, they buried the dead in caves, tumuli, tombs in rocks, mounds, and other types of tombs.

These tombs evolved from primitive structures to much more elaborate ones, such as the pyramidal tombs spread throughout Northern Africa. The honor of being buried in such a tomb appears to have been reserved for those who were most important to their communities.

These pyramid tombs have attracted the attention of some scholars, such as Mohammed Chafik who wrote a book discussing the history of several of the tombs that have survived into modern times. He tried to relate the pyramidal Berber tombs with the great Egyptian pyramids on the basis of the etymological and historical data. The best known Berber pyramids are the 19-meter pre-Roman Numidian pyramid of Medracen and the 30-meter ancient Mauretanian pyramid. The Mauretanian pyramid is also known as "the tomb of Christian woman"
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2008, 01:26:40 pm »



The pyramid of Medracen

The source of this image is www.tawalt.com. Every one can use their images porviding that their site must be referred.
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2008, 01:27:33 pm »

Megalithic Culture

Rocks were considered to be holy by many prehistoric peoples, including the Berbers. Saint Augustine mentioned that the polytheistic Africans worshipped the rocks. Apuleius stated as well that rocks were worshipped in the second century A.D. The megalithic culture may have been part of a cult of the dead or of star-worship.

There are prehistoric megalithic constructs in several North-western African sites, although they have not been studied thoroughly. The Phoenicians had also their megalithic sites, which they called Bethel (House of God). The Mogador monument on the Atlantic coast is sometimes believed to be of Phoenician origin.

The monument of Mzora (also spelled as Msoura) is the best known megalithic monument in northwest Africa. It is composed of a circle of megaliths surrounding a tumulus. The highest megalith is longer than 5 meters. According to legend, it is the sepulchre of the mythic Libyan king Antaeus. Another megalithic monument was discovered in 1926 to south of Casablanca. The monument was engraved wih funerary inscriptions in the Libyco-Berber script known as Tifinagh.

Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 01:28:44 pm »

Solar and lunar worship

The moon is called Ayyur in the Berber language, a name shared with the Berber moon god.

Herodotus mentioned that the ancient Berbers (known to him as Libyans) worshipped the moon and sun and sacrificed to them. He reported:

They begin with the ear of the victim, which they cut off and throw over their house: this done, they kill the animal by twisting the neck. They sacrifice to the Sun and Moon, but not to any other god. This worship is common to all the Libyans.


Tullius Cicero (105-43 BCE) also reported the same cult in On the Republic (Scipio's Dream):

When I (Scipio) was introduced to him, the old man (Massinissa, king of Numidia) embraced me, shed tears, and then, looking up to heaven, exclaimed I thank thee, O supreme Sun, and you also, you other celestial beings, that before I departed from this life I behold in my kingdom, and in my palace, Publius Cornelius Scipio ....

There were some Latin inscriptions found in Northwest Africa dedicated to the sun-god. An example is the inscription found in Souk Ahras (The birthplace of Saint Augustine: Tagaste in Algeria) written as: Solo Deo Invicto. Samuel the Confessor appears to have suffered from the sun-worshiping Berbers who tried unsuccessfully to obligate him worshiping the sun.

In addition, Thor Heyerdahl believed that the Tenerifian pyramids were built by the sun-worshiping Berbers who brought this culture from the Mediterranean to the Canary Islands. The Guanches worshipped a god called Achaman to whom animal sacrifices and libations were made in caves and whose physical manifestation was thought be the sun. This Canarian deity may be related to the god Amon.

The Guanches worshipped a sun-god in Las Palmas, too. It was given the name Magec as well as the name Amen, which seems to have meant "Lord". In Awelimmiden Tuareg, the name Amanai is believed to have the meaning of "God". The Ancient Libyans may have worshipped the setting sun, which was impersonated by Amon, who was represented by the ram's horns.

The sun was worshipped besides the mountains (eg: Atlas), rocks, caves, and rivers.
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 01:29:09 pm »

Egyptian-Berber beliefs

The Ancient Egyptians were the neighbours of the Berbers. They may even have had an ancient common central saharan origin. Therefore, it is sometimes supposed that some deities were originally worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians, and the Ancient Libyans (Berbers) as well. The Egyptian-Berber deities can be distinguished according to their origin.

Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 01:29:52 pm »

Egyptian deities

The Eastern ancient Berbers worshipped Isis and Set. That was reported by Herodotus when saying:

Cow's flesh, however, none of these tribes (Libyan Tribes) ever taste, but abstain from it for the same reason as the Egyptians, neither do they any of them breed swine. Even at Cyrene, the women think it wrong to eat the flesh of the cow, honoring in this Isis, the Egyptian goddess, whom they worship both with fasts and festivals. The Barcaean women abstain, not from cow's flesh only, but also from the flesh of swine.

Those Berbers supposedly didn't eat the swine's flesh, because it was associated with Set, while they didn't eat the cow's flesh, because it was associated with Isis.

Osiris was among the Egyptian deities who were venetrated in Libya. However, Dr. Budge (in addition to a few other scholars) believed that Osiris was originally a Libyan god saying of him that "Everything which the texts of all periods recorded concerning him goes to show that he was an indigenous god of North-east Africa, and that his home and origin were possibly Libyan."
Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2008, 01:30:25 pm »

Berber deities

The Egyptians considered some Egyptian deities to have had a Libyan origin, such as Neith who has been considered, by Egyptians, to have emigrated from Libya to establish in the Nile Delta. Some legends tell that Neith was born around Lake Tritons (In modern Tunisia).

It is also notable that some Egyptian deities were depicted with Berber (ancient Libyan) characters, such as "Ament" who was depicted with two feathers which were the normal ornaments of the Ancient Libyans as they were depicted by the Ancient Egyptians.

Report Spam   Logged
Europa
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4318



« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 01:31:14 pm »

Amun as a common deity

The most remarkable common god between them was Amun. This god is hard to attribute to only one pantheon. Although the most modern sources ignored the existence of Amun in the Berber mythology, he was maybe the greatest ancient Berber god. He was honored by the Ancient Greeks in Cyrenaica, and was united with the Phoenician god Baal due to Libyan influence. Some depictions of the ram across North Africa belong to the lythic period which is situated between 9600 BC and 7500 BC.

The most famous Amun's temple in Ancient Libya was the temple at the oasis of Siwa. The name of the ancient Berber tribes: Garamantes and Nasamonians are believed by some scholars to be related to the name Amon.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy