The Chaouia are an indigenous Berber ethnic and linguistic group in Algeria. They are located primarily in the Aurès Plateau region of the Atlas Mountains in the northeast of the country.
For hundreds of years, including the 132-year French occupation, the Chaouia lived in isolation within a self-sufficient society and economy. But the region became a stronghold of anti-French sentiment, which led to the start of the Algerian War of Independence in 1954. After eight years of brutal colonial war, the French government accepted a cease-fire and Algeria gained independence in 1962.