The New Student's Reference Work/Zouaves
Zouaves (zōō-ävz'), a body of troops in the French army, which derives its name from a tribe of Moors in Algeria, who were taken into the French service after the conquest of that country in 1830. They were first united in the same battalions with French soldiers, retaining their Moorish dress; but, as it was soon found that the system of commingling the two races was not practicable, the French and the Kabyles were formed into separate companies. Gradually, however, the Kabyles were eliminated, and since 1840 Zouaves have been correctly described as French troops in a Moorish dress. They are recruited from the veterans of the ordinary infantry regiments, who are distinguished for fine physique, tried courage and hardihood. The uniform consists of a loose jacket and waistcoast of blue cloth ornamented with yellow braid; loose, madder-colored trousers; brown cloak; madder-colored fez cap with a yellow tassel, surrounded by a green turban; a light-blue sash of wool; yellow leather leggings; and white gaiters. They are armed with a carbine and a sword-bayonet.