Moors  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of Muslim (and earlier non-Muslim) people of Berber, Black African and Arab descent from North Africa, some of whom came to conquer and occupy the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. The North Africans termed it Al Andalus, comprising most of what is now Spain and Portugal. Moors are not distinct or self-defined people, but the appellation was applied by medieval and early modern Europeans primarily to Berbers, but also Arabs, and Muslim Iberians.

As early as 1911, mainstream scholars of the EB1911 pose that "The term Moors has no real ethnological value." However, the term "Moor" is a self-identifying term of Nationality in Article 6 of the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship, the oldest unbroken treaty to which the United States is a signatory and is often synonomous with Moroccan, Al-Moroccan, and Moorish.

In the Spanish language, the term for Moors is Moro; in Portuguese the word is mouro. There seems to have been some confusion about the relationship of the word moro/mouro to the word moreno (which means brown), both from Greek maúros, i.e. black. However, the two words have different etymological roots.

The Andalusian Moors of the late Medieval era inhabited the Iberian Peninsula after the Moorish conquests of the Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates, and the final Umayyad conquest of Hispania.Template:Citation neededThe Moors' rule stretched at times as far as modern-day Mauritania, West African countries, and the Senegal River. Earlier, the Classical Romans interacted (and later conquered) parts of Mauretania, a state which covered northern portions of modern Morocco and much of north western and central Algeria during the classical period. The people of the region were noted in Classical literature as the Mauri.

The term Mauri, or variations thereof, was later used by European traders and explorers of the 16th to 18th centuries to designate ethnic Berber and Arab groups speaking the Hassaniya Arabic dialect.Template:Citation needed Today such groups inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, western Sahara, Morocco, Niger and Mali and to those in India. Mauri was the genesis of the name of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania, which gave its name to the modern Islamic Republic of Mauritania. In the Philippines, some residents use a variation of the term to designate some Muslim populations, the Moros.

Speakers of European languages have historically designated a number of ethnic groups "Moors". In modern Iberia, the term continues to be associated with those of Moroccan ethnicity living in Europe. Some consider it pejorative and racist. Moor is sometimes used in a wider context to describe any person from North Africa. The Spanish use the term and think of it as neutral in local sayings such as "no hay moros en la costa" (literally, "There are no Moors on the coast", meaning "the coast is clear").




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Moors" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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