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Berber Woman, Taarart, Morocco, 2005

Photo: Berber woman with hennaed hands

A Berber woman shows her hand, stained dark with henna for a wedding in the Moroccan town of Taarart. There are about 25 million Berbers—also known as Amazigh—living in Morocco and Algeria. They trace their roots back thousands of years before the seventh century Arab conquest that brought Islam to the region's mountains and deserts.

(Text adapted from and photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Among the Berbers: A Journey Through Morocco's High Atlas Mountains," January 2005, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Alexandra Boulat

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