Berber society, through its inability to construct lasting states and through the inertia with which it confronts those who would found new states within it, retains within itself an infinite capacity to endure. It accepts outwardly those forms of civilisation which come from the outside: Rome and Christianity, Arabia and Islam and now, in the twentieth century, France. But it never gives more than a part of itself and keeps for itself its secret essence. Its local dialects preserve an entire inner existence which is expressed in its poor literature, but which shelters, nevertheless, esoteric and enduring beliefs. Above all it maintains something that we cannot call ‘individualism’, but rather a ‘particularism’ of tribe and village. It preserves in its core the nostalgic and ever-faithful memory of the period of canton independence, and of leff solidarity, while at the same time the attachment to the patriarchal family remains so strong that it is still intact whereever one looks, even after so many centuries of Islamic penetration and after so many decades of French influence.