Dihya al-Kahina was a legendary warrior queen and seer of the Zenata, a Berber-speaking people who lived in the region of northeastern Algeria around the 7th century AD. Born into a royal subtribe of the Zenata called the Jarawa, al-Kahina is best known for resisting the Islamic Arab conquest of North Africa until her death between the years 702 and 705 AD (accounts of how she died differ, but it seems likely it happened in the thick of battle). She was also believed to have been a prophetess who could communicate with birds warning her of an upcoming battle. Much about the rest of her life is shrouded in myth and legend, but she has become something of a heroine for the various Berber ethnic groups, who see her as a champion against Arab domination.
Many other artistic depictions of al-Kahina portray her as a pale-skinned, Arab- or even European-looking woman in Islamic garb, but Arab chroniclers apparently described her as dark-skinned and “great of hair”, which may imply either a big Afro or long dreadlocks for her. Furthermore, it is more likely her garb was the loose tunic common to North Africans at that time rather than the heavier clothing associated with modern Islamic cultures.