Hamu Onamir

The popular heritage of Tamazight People tells about a legend called “Hamu Onamir”:

In ancient times there was a very beautiful orphan child named "Hamu Onamir" , he was living with his mother, who brought him up very good and let him go to the school (Kuttab) to learn reading , writing and keeping the Holy Koran By heart. When "Onamir" became a juvenile young man , he was the most beautiful young man in the village and everyone loved and admired his beauty .
One day he waked up early as usual and found his two palm of the hands adorned with the henna (a type of flowering plant usually used by women as body art to dye their hair, fignernails or hands, and feet)

When he went to the school, the legist (the teacher) scolded him and ordered to hit him so as to not adorn his hands with the henna again. The next day, Onamir found his hands adorned with the henna again so the legist (the teacher) hit him again, and that was repeated for many days till the legist (the teacher) realized that "Onamir" was innocent then he said to him: "Do not sleep tonight till you know who adorning your hands with the henna".

A Nymph From The sky
Onamir has done what was recommended by the legist and he did not sleep that night and waited a long time pretending to sleep since he saw a row of nymphs entering through the window and surround him and start to put the henna on his hands, and he marvel at their beauty. Then they went out one after the other and vanished in the darkness before the daybreak. Then "Onamir" went to the legist and told him about all what he had seen , so the legist said to him: " Take a thread and a needle with you in this time and sew the nymphs’ clothes with your clothes, and when they want to go , release them one after the other till the last one’s role , and if she asked you to release her , tell her that you want to marry her".

Actually "Onamir" brought the thread and the needle, and pretended to sleep , then when the nymphs came , he sewed their clothes with his clothes and when they wanted to leave , they could not manage it then shouted: " Onamir ,we beg you to release us to catch our relatives in the seventh sky before morning", so "Onamir" released them one after the other and kept the last one and said to her: "You will be my wife" , so the nymph replied: "Let me go to my relatives in the sky because you will not be able to fulfill your promises to me" ,then "Onamir" replied: "I will fulfill all my promises" , the nymph said: "I want from you a house with seven rooms seal with one key you maintain it so nobody can never see me". "Onamir" built a house with seven rooms, one inside the other, and lodged the nymph in the last room and he kept sealing the seven doors with one key maintained with him so as not to let anybody know his secret.

A Journey To The Seventh Sky
One day the nymph asked "Onamir" to bring venison to her , then he went out in hunting on his horse after hiding the key in a pile of hay. And his mother was always asking him about the seven rooms secret but he did not answer her and that day she heard a cock which she was breeding, crowing to her : "I found something! I found something!", then she asked it:" What did you find my dear cock?" , it said to her: "I found Onamir’s key with which he closing the seven rooms!". The mother rejoiced , took the key and opened the doors of the rooms one after the other till reaching the last room and she found the nymph sitting and combing her long black hair where her beauty lightened the place , then she started to scold her saying: "What are you doing here? , go where you came from!" , then she sealed the doors at her and re-put the key in its original place. Onamir returned from hunting and entered the nymph’s room and he found her weeping and her tears moisten the ground, then he asked her about the reason for her weeping, so she said: "you did not fulfill your promise to me, and others knew your secret", then she asked him to open the window to breathe some fresh air. He felt pain of her grief and opened the window, then she started to run through it towards the sky saying: "Goodbye Onamir, if you want to see me again then follow me in the seventh sky!". Days passed, and Onamir kept not eating , drinking nor sleeping. One day, he decided to look for a method with which he can ascend to the sky , so he took his horse and said goodbye to his mother and started to travel from country to another till he met an old man who told him that the only method to ascend to the seventh sky is that the Great Eagle located in the Green Mountain carry him. Onamir hurried towards the Green Mountain for years till reached it and called for the Great Eagle and told it about his story, then the Great Eagle said to him: "your story is very tragedy, but I'm old and tired and my feather is lost, so if you wish to carry you to the seventh sky, you should slay your horse and give it to me to eat its meat in order to my wings restore its ability to fly! ", Onamir could not slay his dear horse which accompanied him on his long journey , then the horse said to him:" If I will put an end to your pain, slay me to follow your nymph in the seventh sky". Onamir slaughtered his horse and cried and fed the eagle of its meat, till its strength returned to it and its feathers grew again, Onamir saved seven pieces of the meat to feed it during the flying journey. The eagle carried Onamir on its back ordering him not to speak, and flew towards the seventh sky, and when it was reaching to one of the skies ,Onamir was feeding it a piece of meat until it approached the last sky , then the last piece of meat fell out of Onamir’s hands, and the Eagle started to weaken in flying, so Onamir did not find another way that to cut a piece of flesh from his body and fed the eagle with it till they reached the seventh sky. Onamir sat near a water spring looking at the bizarre leafy trees and its amazing fruits till he saw a nymph nearby the water spring and said to her: " O nymph, I beg you to show me the place of my nymph, I’m Hamu Onamir coming from the earth. The nymph guided him to the wanted place where he found his nymph and rejoiced tremendously and forgot everything that happened to him on the earth. The nymph showed Onamir everything that existing in her palace till she reached a stone placed on a small hole saying to him: "Do not move this stone at all".

Days passed after the other, and Onamir missed his mother with no patience of parting her, then he lifted the stone up and peered out of the hole on the earth and saw his mother lonely and became blind of much weeping at him, holding a sheep and saying : "If my son Onamir was here , he would slaughter the fest sacrificial animal with his hand for me. Onamir forgot the nymph’s advice, shouting: "Behold my mother ,here I am coming back to you, do not be sad anymore! ". He threw himself into the hole towards the earth and the wind shred him with blood drops falling, one of it on the neck of the sheep and slaughtered it, and another drop on his mother’s eyes, then her sight returned back to her ".

"Hamu Onamir" As Work of Art 
The Moroccan director "Fatma Bobacdi" made a work of art with inspired events of Hamu Onamir’s myth in two parts in the Tamazight dialect, then the Moroccan 2M TV channel showed it. The work contains the idea of conflict between good and evil, about an evil witch called "Tamroet" devoted her life to cause evil to others , one of her victims was "Hamu" the hero of the myth, who is experiencing too much risks leading him to leave his mother and his study searching of the nymph’s place, who helped him, where "Hamu" rescue himself from the tyranny of the Witch "Tamroet" at the end.

Tamazight People
Tamazight people lived in North Africa in the west of the Nile region since more than 5000 years, now they live in the geographic area extended from western Egypt to the Canary Islands, and from the Mediterranean coast north to the depths of the Great Sahara in Niger and Mali in the south. With the arrival of Islam to North Africa, some of Tamazight people arabized by embracing the Arabic language of the new religion, the other part retained the Tamazight language. Because of this the Tamazight dialects affected in the new-coming Arabic language, then the dialects of the Arabic Maghreb emerged, which are somewhat different from the dialects of the Arabic Mashreq. One of the Tamazight famous men was the combatant " Mohammed Ibn Abd El-Karim Al-Khataby", who revolted against the Spanish colonists and united the countryside tribes ranks in Morocco, and called for the independence of all Morocco from the Spanish and French trusteeship, and also from Tamazight was the commander "Tariq Ibin Ziyad Al-Laithi" who conquest "Andalusia" (Spain) in the time of the Umayyad Caliph "Al-Walid Ibin Abdul Malik". As well as the origins of the famous French footballer "Zinedine Zidane", to the Tamazight (Berbers) in Algeria. The image shown appears inscriptions written in ancient Tamazight language.


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