Tunisian Hamama Tribe: Many Stories, One Feeling

adventurous spirit

The Hamama tribe was an annoying neighbor to the surrounding tribes, as its members are well known for their love of conquest and adventures. Their identity is closely linked to an old Arabic proverb; “A saddle, a bridle and a life for Islam.” Tradition has it that mothers whisper these words into their newborn’s ear.

As such, Hamamian life can be said to be based on horseback riding and adherence to Islamic teachings. Apparently the tribesmen provide horses and weapons for their children in their quest for adventure. Children who return from their adventures with exceptional gains are considered true Hamamiens.

Horseback riding is one of the best known skills of the Hamama tribe and is prevalent among its members due to the tribe’s historical identity. For centuries, the tribe was one of the most powerful in Tunisia, prompting the Beys of Tunisia to use the Hamama Knights in internal and external wars.

The tribe was known for its role in the resistance to French colonization after the Treaty of Bardo. Mohamed Ali Habachi’s book Orosh Tunis – Thrones of Tunisia mentions a message from the leader of Awlad Muammar to the Prime Minister in which he said:

We are the Hamama, servants of the late Sidi Hussien bin Ali. May God rest his soul and bless his descendants and preserve them. The throne belongs to us because they are our ancestors, and we are their descendants, and we don’t want their throne to be defiled by anyone but them, and shame will haunt us across the land if we don’t stand up to the French .

It is difficult to talk about the Hamama society today. Since Tunisia’s independence, tribal structures have regressed in favor of the national state.

Over time, this regression has reduced the privacy and autonomy of tribal societies while national societal characteristics have widened, as Amin al-Harshani, one of the tribesmen, told Fanack. . “It is more accurate today to speak of a geographical space with cultural particularities, since most of the inhabitants of this space are descended from the same tribal origins, just like the Hamama tribe,” he added.

About Wesley V. Finley

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