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