All About Moorish People
|Moorish men playing Mancala a Math Game|
The word Moor derives from the Latin term Maurus, first used by the Romans to denote an inhabitant of the Roman province of Mauretania, comprising the western portion of present-day Algeria and the northeastern portion of present-day Morocco. Europeans depicted Moors as being black, or tawny in skin color. Moor is also a Moroccan or, formerly, a member of the Muslim population of what is now Spain and Portugal of mixed Arab descent.
Today, the term Moor is used to designate the predominant Arab-Amazigh ethnic group in Mauritania and the small Arab-Amazigh minority in Mali. The term Moors also refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages.
Apart from the notable name associations and context, Moor and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group according to certain people. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Tunisia, Morocco, Niger, and Mali. In Niger and Mali as well as other Africans who had been absorbed into al-Andalus to be used as soldiers and slaves. Black soldiers, specifically identified as Moors, were actively recruited by Rome, and served in Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The Berber and Sub-Saharan African soldiers were known as tangerines because they were imported through Tangier.