As is the case with many cultures around the world, folklore holds a special place in the lives of Algerians. Folklore refers to the traditions, beliefs, practices, tales and myths of Algeria's people that have been passed on orally through generations. Algeria's folklore will give you much insight into the life, way of thinking and perceptions of the country's residents. Folklore in Algeria encompasses the music, traditional dance, stories and other aspects of life. A great many of Algeria's tales come from the Berbers of the Kabyle region and describe their view of creation and various other aspects of life.
Join me as we follow the Kabyle folktale about an orphan and the moon:
Many years ago there was an orphan child wandering about upon the earth. He was very melancholy as he had no father and no mother. Nobody on the earth would talk to him, or pay him any attention; nobody cared why he was so sad. Despite his anguish, the boy was unable to weep as tears had not yet entered the world. In the night, the moon observed the distraught orphan boy walking about the earth and felt great compassion towards him. The moon left the heavens and came to lie upon the earth before the orphaned child. He addressed the child: “Weep, sad child! But you cannot let the tears drop to the earth, as it would make it unclean for people who get their food from it. Rather, let your tears fall onto me. I will then carry them back with me up into the sky.” The orphan child began to weep, the first tears ever to fall, rolled down his cheeks and dropped onto the moon. The Moon gave the lonely child a blessing saying: “From now on, every person shall love you.” When the child could weep no more, the moon returned to the heavens. Thereafter the orphan became happy and people would give him all that he needed and all that would make him rejoice. Every time you look at the moon’s face, you will be able to see the stains left by the tears of the orphan child, the first tears ever shed.
When visiting Algeria or looking through the Algeria.com forums, why not ask a local to tell you more about Algerian folklore, you will discover some truly amazing tales.
Last updated: January 8, 2019