Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/172

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
142
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Morocco.
 

are pretty; the women frightfully ugly, owing to exposure and hard work, as all demotic duties (a wide range in this country) fall upon them. Their language is the Koreish, or Arabic of the Kōran, though much corrupted.

Berēbers and Shellūhs inhabit the mountain range of Atlas; the former the north-eastern part, as far as the province of Tedla, the latter thence to the south-west; they live chiefly in villages of houses built of stones and mud, with slate roofs, occasionally in tents, and even in caves: their chief occupation is that of huntsmen, yet they cultivate the ground and rear many bees. Their mode of life renders them more robust and active than their neighbours of the plains; they are probably the aborigines of this country, direct descendants of Ham, and have been driven to the mountains by the incursions of the Arabs and Moors; their language has no resemblance to the Arabic, though many words of that language are in common use among the natives. It has long been a disputed point whether the Shellūh and Berēber are the same language: Jackson, who lived many years at Mogadore and Santa Cruz, declares they are not, and gives a specimen of eighteen words in the two languages, to show there is not the smallest resemblance. Of these eighteen words have found five, in two different Berēber vocabularies, to the the same as in the Shellūh dialect. During our visit to the Atlas, we wrote down from the mouth of a native Shellūh, who had passed all his life there, some hundred words of that idiom. On our return home, finding that the British and Foreign Bible Society had lately acquired a translation of part of the Scriptures into one of the dialects of northern Africa, I applied to them, who most liberally showed me their vocabulary, which proved to be compiled from a manuscript in Berēber language; upon comparing thia with my own made among the Shellūhs, I found twenty words, in common use, exactly alike, a catalogue of which I subjoin:—

English. Arabic. Berēber[1]. 'Shellūh.
Bread El Khobs Aghroum Aghroom
Camel Jimmel Araam Arume
Call (to) Tsāta Kerar (imp) Ir-kerah
Dates Tamar Tene Icayn Teene Icayn
Dinner El-iftor Imquilli Imkelli
Eat (to) Akal En-nitch Ai-nish
 


  1. My authorities for the Berēber are 'Hodgson and the Berebber Language' published in the American Philosophical Transactions, vol. iv., and another compiled by a Frenchman, long resident at Algiers, I believe M. Venture. See Appendix to Langlès' French Translation of Hornemann's Travels.

    When these papers were read brfore the Society, it was asserted that these languages were not alike; in the conversation that arose after the reading was finished a contrary opinion was expressed, and it was intimated that Mr. Barrow (who is of the highest authority in any point connected with Africa) thought differently, upon which further inquiry was made—the result is given above.