As elsewhere in North Africa, the Indigenous population of Tunisia is formed of the Amazighs. There are no official statistics on their number in the country but Amazigh associations estimate there to be around 1 million Tamazight speakers, accounting for some 10% of the total population. Tunisia is the country in which the Amazighs have suffered the greatest forced Arabisation. This explains the low proportion of Tamazight speakers in the country. There are, however, increasing numbers of Tunisians who, despite no longer being able to speak Tamazight, still consider themselves Amazighs rather than Arabs.
The Amazighs of Tunisia are spread throughout all of the country’s regions, from Azemour and Sejnane in the north to Tittawin (Tataouine) in the south, passing through El-Kef, Thala, Siliana, Gafsa, Gabès, Matmata, Tozeur, Djerba... As elsewhere in North Africa, many of Tunisia’s Amazigh have left their mountains and deserts to seek work in the cities and abroad. There are thus a large number of Amazigh in Tunis, where they live in the city’s different neighbourhoods, particularly the old town (Medina), working primarily in skilled crafts and petty trade. The Indigenous Amazigh population can be distinguished not only by their language but also by their culture (traditional dress, music, cooking and Ibadite religion practised by the Amazigh of Djerba).