Algeria Traditions

Algeria Traditions

About half of the Algerian population is still deeply linked to life in the fields and pastoralism; it mainly lives in villages, whose appearance varies considerably as one proceeds inland from the coasts. Along the maritime strip, where among other things the French influence was greater, the classic Mediterranean village prevails, located on the hilly slopes and formed by low houses, in stone, with the rooms side by side and the roof gabled. Very common, especially in the inland regions of the Maghreb, is the house with a terrace or barrel roof (for collecting rainwater, which is conveyed into the underground cistern); it is always joined to other houses so as to be part of a small and compact neighborhood, generally rectangular, with internal courtyards and intercommunicating roofs. But the original Berber form of settlement is the gurbÄ«: it gathers two or more families, has a generally circular plan, with a vast open space closed by escarpments and houses. The latter are extremely simple, with uncemented stone walls and large stubble roofs, slightly sloping towards the internal clearing, where the cattle are sheltered at night. At the foot of the Saharan Atlas, the typical oasis settlement is already beginning to appear, which is the only stable form in Saharan Algeria. According to ebizdir, it rises along the edge of the oasis, which is instead occupied by crops; the low and uniform houses, with a modest appearance, line the narrow but regular streets that lead to the fields. At the edge of the oasis, but also along the caravan routes, the nomadic groups camp; their home is the tent, almost always double (one for the day and one for the night) of raw wool or vegetable fibers. A completely new aspect in the context of the Saharan settlements is represented by the so-called “pioneer cities”: these are centers built in the middle of the desert, near the hydrocarbon fields, to house non-African personnel (especially managers, technicians and skilled workers); equipped with the main urban services (shops, restaurants, meeting places and places of worship, etc.), with air conditioning systems inside the individual buildings, they are able to accommodate even a few thousand people. The most significant example is that of Hassi Messaoud. The Tuareg culture is the one that more than the others in the Muslim area gives women greater freedom and rights. The offspring is passed on in the matriarchal line; it is men who cover their faces with a strip of blue fabric that protects them from the sand and the desert wind. The traditional costume consists of a thick woolen shirt, the derbal, which is worn with or without a wool belt at the waist and a kind of leather apron. The whole is completed by the classic hooded cloak, the burnous, and light leather sandals. The woman’s costume is a tunic composed of a single rectangular cut of fabric that is draped around the body so as to leave the arms bare and stopped at the waist by a thin belt. The clothing is completed by the hood, made from a fold of the same tunic, and by a light copper ring affixed to the ankle. Great attention is given to cosmetics is the result of a long and complicated ritual. The hair is especially well-kept, which is continuously dyed and re-dyed. The eyebrows are dyed with the same care, always a beautiful dark black. The lashes are instead dyed with a sort of dark blue bistro that must give sweetness to the eye, and the eye is circled with kohl, which also protects it from excess light. To create a strong contrast with the black of the hair and eyebrows, the cheeks are strongly colored with a bright red make-up. A trick, however, to be complete must also be accompanied by some tattoos on the forehead, chin, cheeks or arms and neck, which reproduce with delicate designs spikes, leaves or lozenges. The foods that are usually consumed are more or less the same as in Morocco and Tunisia on the table there is never a lack of spices (pepper, chilli, ginger, cinnamon, cumin) to season and flavor the meats (sheep and chicken), vegetables and bread. Olive oil is the main condiment. The A trick, however, to be complete must also be accompanied by some tattoos on the forehead, chin, cheeks or arms and neck, which reproduce with delicate designs spikes, leaves or lozenges. The foods that are usually consumed are more or less the same as in Morocco and Tunisia on the table there is never a lack of spices (pepper, chilli, ginger, cinnamon, cumin) to season and flavor the meats (sheep and chicken), vegetables and bread. Olive oil is the main condiment. The A trick, however, to be complete must also be accompanied by some tattoos on the forehead, chin, cheeks or arms and neck, which reproduce with delicate designs spikes, leaves or lozenges. The foods that are usually consumed are more or less the same as in Morocco and Tunisia on the table there is never a lack of spices (pepper, chilli, ginger, cinnamon, cumin) to season and flavor the meats (sheep and chicken), vegetables and bread. Olive oil is the main condiment. The cumin) to season and flavor meat (sheep and chicken), vegetables and bread. Olive oil is the main condiment. The cumin) to season and flavor meat (sheep and chicken), vegetables and bread. Olive oil is the main condiment. The couscous, wheat semolina, is presented at the table to accompany cooked vegetables (carrots, green beans, fennel, beets, tomatoes, courgettes and peas) or mutton or chicken; probably of Berber origin, it is often presented in a large tureen placed in the center of the table, from which all the diners are served with their hands. Another typical Berber dish is chorba, a mutton and vegetable soup topped with plenty of coriander and other spices. During the recurrence of Ramadan, only one meal is consumed after sunset: the typical dishes are harira, a soup with legumes and meat, or a semolina sheet stuffed with vegetables and meat, or with tuna or shrimp and eggs. Dates, nuts and honey are the main ingredients for desserts, including baklawa, known throughout the Arab world.

Algeria Traditions