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The Ethnographic StateFrance and the Invention of Moroccan Islam$
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Edmund III Burke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273818

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273818.001.0001

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Berber Policy Tribe And State

Berber Policy Tribe And State

Chapter:
(p.128) Seven Berber Policy Tribe And State
Source:
The Ethnographic State
Author(s):

Edmund Burke

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520273818.003.0008

When the protectorate began, the French had no prior knowledge of the Thamazight-speaking pastoralist Middle Atlas Berber groups. This produced a major debacle in the period 1912–1914, when French measures to introduce security provoked instead a series of major rebellions. Suddenly they were confronted by the crucial differences between the different Berber groups of Morocco. The Middle Atlas groups were eventually brought under control via the recognition of their quasi-autonomous customary legal system. But when, in 1930, the French sought to establish a native policy in Morocco modeled upon the racist Kabyle myth—then in favor in colonial Algeria—this transparent effort to play divide-and-conquer provoked the first large-scale expression of Moroccan nationalist indignation. Thereafter, French Berber policy, previously a success, became a persistent weak point of the protectorate government.

Keywords:   Middle Atlas, General Paul Henrys, Thamazight, Tashilheyt, Henri Terrasse

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