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Berber troglodyte in Matmata

Troglodyte - house which consist of a courtyard, 5 to 10 meters deep from which a labyrinth of small rooms are cut into the soft rock and interconnected by narrow passageways.

Essentially the Berbers were a nomadic people who roamed the lands of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
As a means of protection against others who moved into their territories, the Berber tribes eventually established permanent villages. However, unlike the Berbers of Morocco and Algeria, the tribes in Tunisia had few high mountains in which to hide, so they integrated quickly with the Arab invaders.
The Berber villages are mainly in the Southern part of Tunisia.

Symbols above the doors were drawn because they considered it as a protection from bad luck or evil. You can see here the hand of Fatima - the fingers of the hand represent the five pillars of Islam. That's why it's called khamsa - it's the same as the Arabic word for five. The fish is a good luck charm. Both symbols are used to ward off the devil from their homes.

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Additional Photos by Sne ZA (Sne011) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 74 N: 582] (3084)
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