USA celebrates Estevanico Azemor, the first Moroccan Berber to arrive to America in the 16th century

Today, the American National Museum, in Dairborn, Michigan, will celebrate Estefanico “Mustafa Zemmouri”, who is considered one of the first Moroccans to come to America.

According to a post published by the American Embassy, ​​Morocco is on its “Facebook” page, as Estefanico Azemor was an Amazigh “Berber” explorer, and if not after the first person of North African descent, he would discover southwestern American.

In the same leaflet, the embassy told that during the participation of Dial Azemour, an exploratory journey, at the beginning of the 16th century, he spoke six languages ​​and served as an interpreter, healer, and guide.

I consider the embassy to consider the story of Estevanico Azemor as an example among many other examples written by the Moroccan presence in America, during a period of more than two hundred years of friendship.


Mustafa Estevanico Azemor (c. 1500–1539), also known by the name of Estevanico (“Little Stephen”) (modern spelling Estebanico), or as Esteban de Dorantes or Esteban the Moor, was a Moroccan explorer who became the first North African of “Berber” Amazigh origin to explore North America.

Three years after his 8 year survival journey from Florida to Mexico City, Estevanico Azemor was chosen by the Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) in 1539 to serve as the main guide for a return expedition to the Southwest led by Fray Marcos de Niza seeking “the Seven Cities of Cibola”. Marcos de Niza reported in his own Relacíon that Azemor was killed in the Zuni city of Hawikuh in 1539. The idea that Azemor was killed at that time is speculative, as the Indians who reported Azemor’s death to Friar Marcos de Niza did not see him killed but only assumed he had been killed. Azemor was the first non-Native to visit Pueblo lands.

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