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Tamazgha or Tamazɣa (in Tifinagh script: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰ) is an Amaziɣ word employed for the area equally known as North Africa or the Maghreb, covering the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Niger River, from Siwa Oasis to the Canary Islands.
Although the root aziɣ is likely ancient, ta-Maz'gh-a as a country name is modern, coined in the context of Amaziɣ 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 Amaziɣ activists because there was not originally a common word that refers to all the geographical territory inhabited by the Amaziɣ, since the Amaziɣ live in several countries, and they are not united politically, with many scattered around the World by the Amaziɣ Diaspora. So, the name has been created to define an Amaziɣ Nation, and unify the people of the Tamazɣa, or Maghreb with their original culture. Many philologists sort this term like neologism, built from traditional Tamaziɣt language terms (i.e. Tamaziɣt, Tamurt an Imaziɣen, Tamazirt.)
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