The Dwarves of the Atlas Mountains

Dwarf-Tribes in 19th Century Morocco

There is an 1891 book titled “The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas” by R.G. Haliburton. It tells of a race of dwarves in the Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco, alive and well in the late 1800s. The mysterious semi-subterranean, gold mining race had already gone extinct in other parts of the world by this time. But in Morocco they were still tribes in the hundreds, sometimes thousands, freely moving around.

The book illustrates the authors travels, interviews with more than sixty direct witnesses and his own encounters with the little folk. They are described as intelligent and athletic, working as smiths, tinkers, well-sinkers, makers of leather, acrobats, fortune-tellers, diviners, astrologists, jugglers, workers in silver and brass, dress makers and cave miners. “Tinker” is an old word for tinsmith or a person who fixes small items. In our culture, it’s also a slang word for a mischievous and impish child.

They dug and built small dwellings directly into mountains inside which they lived and worked. Some lived outside of or near mountains but their prime enclaves were subterranean.  In the 1800s, Morocco was ruled by the Moors/Mauri, the Muslim people of North Africa. Dwarves travelled to the towns of the Moors in Caravans to attend their fairs and markets. They sold crafts, spindles, spinning wheels and performed acrobatic shows. At around the same period of time, dwarves were used worldwide in circus shows. This is possibly owed to the fact that they were known to be very agile and not prone to injury (apart from being a rare, nearly extinct people). The dwarves were also said to hide and guard ancient treasures buried below below ruins. Their main foods were milk and camels meat. When they travelled they carried goat-skin pouches of ground camel meat with them. The meat is pounded and salted and a small handful sustained one person for two days. From the Atlas Mountains and Sous region of Morocco they travelled to Marrakesh, Fez and the adjoining Sahara desert for their trade. When festivities were organized by the Government they deployed groups of dwarves for performances. Because they were already reclusive in the late 1880s, their presence was rare in northern Morocco and so they were employed as novelty entertainment. Multiple witnesses of the time say that they were skilled at hunting ostriches. They sold ostrich eggs and feathers to Arab and Berber traders of the Sahara and markets in Moroccan towns.

The adults were said to be 4 feet (121 cm) tall at most, but muscular. They had a reddish skin that differed greatly from the Berbers, Moors, Whites and Black Africans sharing the region with them. Their skin was compared to the “red Indians” of the Americas. Their color also called “slightly roasted coffee” and “mahagony”. Some of them were said to be brown or yellowish and their faces were broad, often without eyebrows. They had short, woolly hair and their faces were usually shaved. Strangely enough, some of their tribes were “dressed like the French”. They wore woolen shirts embroidered at the front and back neck. They had leather boots or leggings coming up nearly to the knees, and their knives and daggers had “a peculiar crescent shaped handle”.

Today, any trace of them has disappeared and the Atlas Mountains and Deserts are mostly populated by the Berber people. What happened? Did they retreat back into their subterranean realm? Was there a quiet genocide? I’ve previously shown how the Giants of ancient legend were still here  more recently than generally believed. The same thing applies to dwarves, they were with us as recent as the late 1800s. That’s only 140 years ago. Because of that, you’d think more information on them is available, but knowledge of them has all but disappeared.

Names of the Dwarf-Tribes

According to the 1891 book, all people agreed that they were the dwarves are the most ancient among all the cultures and tribes. Pre-flood, pre-cataclysm, pre-reset. The names given to them vary from town to town. I extracted all names given to them from the book. They are given by Moors, Blacks, Arabs, Berbers and some by the dwarves themselves. The author doesn’t bother to analyze most of the names, but I’m doing it because linguistics always prove revealing.

Little Harateen (men), Little Hartaniat (women), Little Hartani.

This appears to link the dwarves to the ethnic group of the Haratin. In Mauretania these are a distinct ethnic group, in Morocco they are are also distinct but lumped in with Berbers. To me this seems like an inaccurate name for the dwarves. They may have mixed with the Hartani but they are ethnically distinct from them in many ways. But it does remind me of an Arabic word called “Haratheen”, which means “Diggers”.

Haidah, Haiden, Heden

Haiden is the ancient (and modern) German for “Pagans”. Some sources say that “in the old days” the entire region of North Africa was called Heden. In Arabic, the word “Haid” refers to “coming out of a mountain”. In ancient days long gone, paganism was often associated with coming out of mountains because their rites were often performed inside caves.

Hazora

This name for the dwarves is interesting. In the Bible it refers to an enclosure, a fortification or the stronghold of Canaanites in the Mountains. The Canaanites were said to be idol worshipers that practiced taboo sex acts, child sacrifice to their Gods, etc. They worshipped Baal. Moses successor Joshua led a war against the Canaanites (this will become relevant further down).

Patiki, Pata, Pati

The book says this likely means Father (Pata, Pati) and it’s plural Patiki. I agree.

Baraka or Sidi Baraker

The word means Blessing and tribe of blessings and divine blessings across various languages including Arabic and Hindu. The dwarves have often been called the blessed tribe or sons of the blessed.

Oulad Mebrok

The word Oulad means “People” or “Tribe” and also “Town”. The word Mebrok I believe is actually the Arabic word Mabrouk, which again means “blessed”.

Iguilmim

This name could be a reference to, what in Berber language is called Aguelmim, a city in southern Morocco (today called Guelmim).

Touwata

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Ayusa

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Idyl

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Adusal

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Akkas, Wakkas, Ait Wakka

Akka is ancient German for land and wakka is ancient German for vehicle and was a common word in pre-flood times, used for tribes, ships, boats and aircraft.

Taata

This probably again refers to forefathers.

Tajakant

Wikipedia says that this is a mostly extinct tribe of Berbers who spoke Arabic.  It’s probably an inaccurate label for the dwarves.

Ruhar

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Aglimen

I was unable to decipher this one at the time of this writing.

Nezeegan

Likely named after the old Moroccan town Nezeeg.

Jed-Jedi 

This means Father of our Fathers. Yes, the movie star wars references a famous dwarf who is also a Jedi.

Ait Atta

The word “Ait” is a Berber term meaning “people of” or “descendant of”. Atta could refer to “Father” or to Atlantis. It also means “Gift” in Arabic and Persian. “People of the Gift” is likely, considering they were considered blessed.

Imini

This is said to mean short people and it appears to derive from the Latin word “Mini”. It could also be related to the river of the same name.

Oulad Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa or Sedi Hamed ben Moussa

This is what some dwarf tribes called themselves. It means tribe of Lord Hamed, son of Moses.

Why would they call themselves descendants of Moses son?

In the Torah, God doesn’t choose Moses sons for the priestly class but rather, his brother Aaron’s sons. An uncharacteristic move. What’s wrong with Moses sons? Wasn’t Moses one of God’s favorites? The ancient scripture doesn’t explain. Both of Moses sons are said to have been born to wives from Midian (Arabia) rather than a Jewish wife. Was this the reason?  The names of Moses son’s in the Torah are Gershom, his first born and Eliezer. Eliezer means helper. Gershom means sojourner and stranger. Are these sojourners and strangers the dwarves?

Amazingly, Akka, the place where most of the dwarves lived, seems to be the first place in Morocco that Jews migrated to. Why Akka? What were they looking for? The lost descendants of Moses?

Towns and Mountain-Dwellings of the Dwarf-Tribes

Luckily, the book tells us the exact locations of their dwellings. Akka (also called Vakka in ancient times) is the most-named place and anyone can find it on Google Maps. I’ve put a red pin there:

Isn’t it great to know exactly where the last of this mysterious race lived? This way, any adventurer can go there and will surely find traces of these people.

The book is explicit of where they have dwellings, tribes and towns. If you’re a researcher of anomalous phenomena, you really appreciate books that are specific, which is a sign of honesty. These are all the Place-Names from the book (the ones I found on Google Maps are bolded):

Akka

Akkairi,

Akka-Ighan,

Guil,

Itonayli,

Tamzrat,

Tadakoust,

mountains of Kaleez,

Tazzawalt in Sous,

Taurirt

Haha,

Shedma,

Dra Valley,

Tamanart (headquarters, ruins),

Ait Tinker,

Ait Souk,

Ait Wabili,

Ait Sheltar,

Garnata,

near Tinzone (more than a thousand dwarves),

Valley of Imini,

southeast of Dra,

Asa,

Atoumribet,

Tasker-Yekin-Ishet,

Bani Youssi,

River Dora,

Didoo,

Atouayli,

east of Demnat,

Ait Messad,

Ophiran,

Ait Messal,

Ait Bensid,

Ait Atta country,

Beni Znassen country,

Tafilet or Tafilelt

Tarudant in the Soos Valley,

Iguilmim, in the Sahel.

Bani Mountains south-east of Wad Draa.

Inside mountains south-east of Wad Draa.

near Sakiat Hamra (Toubold, Oulad Kador, Oulad Haboub, Moul Okaz)

Based on the towns I found, I was able to draw this “Directions” Map on Google Maps. It gives us a good indication of where these people lived and where they didn’t.

One town I did not include in this is Taurirt, because it’s way off to the North an anomaly among an otherwise consistent picture. Other places I was unable to include were “Wad Dra” and “the mountains south east of Wad Dra” because they appear to be inaccessible by car. It would have been a good place for them to seclude themselves. The area is across country lines, in Algeria:

“Wad Dra”, spelled here Oued Draa and the mountains south-east of the Dra Valley are the most frequently mentioned, but they appear also to be the most difficult to access.

Mountains adjacent to a Desert is a common theme with dwarves. The same thing is mirrored in many other places around the world. In my books I’ve asserted that they fled disaster into subterranean dwellings. Another theory I put forward, based on Mythology, is that banishment into the underground was their punishment post-flood. In many places, the resulting disasters left vast stretches of barren Desert. If there were mountains nearby, that’s where survivors fled.

Buried Cities and Ancient Treasures

As the dwarves themselves admitted, they were keenly interested in ancient treasures below the sand.  In a previous article I showed how the Sahara Desert was once a thriving, green and populated place that had been destroyed by some type of advanced weaponry. I expressed the view that buried cities would be found there some day (as have already been). The dwarves knew what had happened. The Arabs, Berbers and Europeans did not seem to remember, but the Dwarves knew. Is this the reason they were eradicated? Is that why we found them living near the edge of the Sahara? Are they possibly among the last survivors of a world-changing war that also targeted the Giants?

Treasures of lost civilizations are rumored to be in the Dra Valley and along the 1100 km long Dra river. There was an ancient city called Ta Punt. It still exists in a modern version today, called Tabounte. The ruins of Ta Punt are said to be three miles distant from the modern city (or as it was in the 1800s). The Arabs of the 1800s referred to the old Tabount as an “ancient city of idolators”. The town was also called Anibna-Didoo (translated as town-of-Didoo). There, one can find many figures of people with the heads of horses, bulls, dogs, monkeys, wolves, etc. not entirely unlike the human-animal crosses of Ancient Egypt. These figures are 18 inches to 2 feet high (45 cm to 70 cm). The people call them Ait Beni, Beni Kerbu and Mahkerbu as well as Ait Beni Hazor. At Tapunt there is a ruin called Abniat Didoo (Temple of Didoo). There, dwarves were seen taking a statue of Isiri Didoo down and lifting him back up with a rope, as a matter of ritual. An old saying in the region regarding prosperity is “you have all the Gold of Punt”. Naturally, if the dwarves were idol worshipers, it makes sense that they keep secluded from the religious and it could very well be the reason they disappeared.

Looking at Tabounte on Google Earth I see some possible evidence of a new city being built atop a more ancient one. I’ve gone into this phenomenon in my article “Ancient Grid Lines of the Desert“. I may be wrong, but these areas in and around Tabounte look potentially anomalous:

These look like property lots, lines and streets have been prepared but not built on yet. It’s how new developments start. Except, they look weathered, obviously made long ago.

In this part of town the streets are all ready, according to Google but the rest looks like its been destroyed.

Here’s something mind-blowing: The dwarves were often specifically referred to as “the acrobats” and also as people who built dwellings from clay. The ceilings of some of their dwellings inside mountains are no more than 5.2. foot high, according to the book. In America there are some people who say that certain cave dwellings were not built by the native Americans but rather an even older people – the dwarves. These dwellings in the desert mountains are called Adobe (Clay). That gives a whole new meaning to “Adobe Acrobat”, doesn’t it?

The dwarves of Morocco called their ancestors the Romi. That’s noteworthy, considering that many of the buried ruins indeed look “Roman”. There are also possible crossovers to the Gypsies of Europe that call themselves Roma and share some customs with these dwarves.

One place of subterranean treasures, according to the book, was Amsmiz, a small town at the northern foot of the Atlas mountains, specifically a place in the mountains above Amsmiz, called Immintelleh. Today it’s called Amizmiz. I’ve found the place named Imintala (which is ancient German for “in the Valley”) on Google Maps and a few very interesting photos of what look like entrances to mountain-dwellings:

These are photos shot by a private person and uploaded to Google. I found no other photos of the area online.

There are frequent references to ancient ruins and buried cities “south-east of Draa river”. That would be an area that is, unfortunately a UN-Monitored, political buffer zone, in Western Sahara. It is said of this area that it contains many “prehistoric” sites of archaeological interest, but the terrain is quite difficult to access.

Generally, the entire Bani mountain range (Anti-Atlas) was said to “belong” to the Dwarves, whereas the Atlas-Mountain range also had dwarf-tribes but less so.

 

The Beliefs of the Dwarves

Accounts on their Religion differ.  They were known as Muslims, Christians and Idol-Worshiping Pagans. Some were said to be half-Christians, mixing their magic spells and idols with reading and following the Gospels. It is possible that their Muslim and Christian allegiances were fronts for the public, but some appeared to be genuine.

The idol of their worship was called Didoo (another name for Osiris), one of the oldest Egyptian gods. Many towns south of the Atlas Mountains use the word in their town and river names. There’s the district of Did or Didan, the towns Ait Didi, Didi, Ait Hedidoo and Ait Doodoon. There is a river named Did and another named Didoo or Dora in the Black Mountains near Tinzone. In the Atlas Mountains Dido Osiris is called Dido Isiri.

Strangely enough a mountain rumored to harbor Dwarves is called “Mountain of the Christians” or Jebel el Nasara (Christians were called Nasara, the Nazarenes). Near the bottom of that mountain is a town called Taskadeer. And near Taskadeer is a another mountain called Ben Touhad. This is where purely Christian dwarves called Imini (possibly named after the river Imini) were said to live. I found none of these places on maps, but knowing that Nasara was close to Akka, I found the town Taskala, perched between two mountains.

Many people experienced the dwarves as secretive, secluded, not revealing all they know. They were also known to be frightened and distrustful of white Europeans. They would not go to hotel rooms with them, would often not allow to be touched by them, would not show up to arranged meetings, etc. Some reports differentiated between the Zenegar tribes and other dwarves. The Zenegar were viewed less favorably than others. The word seems to derive from the Arabic and Hebrew word for copper-rust or scum (Ezekiel 24:11). The dwarves were copper miners, so that could make sense.  The Zenegar were said to ritualistically sacrifice sheep. The dwarves fear the evil-eye, a belief that is still common today in North African countries.

They were known as money-finders and would sometimes find money for other people, as a service. To do so, they wrote on a wooden slate. The book says nothing further on this, but I assume it’s a kind of divination practice, as the dwarves worldwide were very much into divination.

Many reported that the dwarves, when travelling in the desert, wore a “haik” or “khanif” or “burnous” with a large yellow eye or all-seeing-eye on it. The eye was normally around 1 yard in length. A Burnous is a cape worn by desert people (see image below).

In Muslim culture, the single-eye has a negative connotation, perhaps another reason the dwarves were secluded. One of their techniques of keeping secrets was to mix up words in their language, putting the end of words first so nobody can understand them. The Dwarves themselves, warned people not to talk about them, almost as if they didn’t want to be found or as if they knew they were being hunted.

On the other hand, the Moors were also very fond of or superstitious about the specialness or sacredness of the dwarves, calling them blessed and considering their presence good luck. Was this good self-marketing from the dwarves or is there more to it? I don’t know. But it was considered “bad luck” to talk about them. A taboo was placed on it by Moors and Berbers alike.

The Dwarves of Morocco had a reputation for “knowing the stars well”. I assume this relates to Astrology, but it could also relate to something of their religion.

They were said to make little books which are carried around as charms or placed in water. These books were said to be able to cure ills. More is not said in the book, but it’s a common ancient belief among indigenous people that water can carry information (because it actually can!).

Their old language is called Tagnawot or Mizgitin. Also Hedah, Haidah and Tinker. I’m sure if I dwell on it for a few hours I’d figure out what these words mean.

Their demise could have also been self-imposed. They were known to fight each other, tribe-to-tribe, using poison arrows and firearms. We don’t know. To me it’s amazing that an entire ethnicity can just disappear and people aren’t just a little more curious about it.

The book says that skeletons of the little people from Morocco were sent to the Royal Society. If that is so, the Royal Society has failed to inform the public.

I learned in school, in the early 1980s that dwarf-races were a thing of “fairy tales”, they were “mythic”. But not so! Their race was flesh and blood real and we’ve found their dwellings with tiny doors, their small skeletons and much more. It would be interesting to find out how they came to exist, where they disappeared to, why they were so frightened and where the cities are buried.

 

 

 

 

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