There was also a Jewish presence in Mzab, but all Jews have left in the 1950s and 1960s mostly to Israel. The Mellah الملاح and the Hajraat الحجرات (Rocks in Arabic) still testify of this presence.
The moroccan ethnic groups of Morocco
The Moroccan Ethnic Groups: An Historical Perspective Presented by Mohsine Mahraj
IntroductIonMorocco is a country of multi-ethnic groupswith a rich culture and civilization. ThroughMoroccan history, Morocco hosted manypeople in addition to the indigenous Berbers,coming from both East (Phoenicians, Jews andArabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) andNorth (Romans and Vandals). All of whichhave had an impact on the social structure ofMorocco. It conceived many forms of beliefs,from paganism, Judaism, Christianity to Islam.Each region possesses its own uniqueness,contributing to the national culture.
• The History of Morocco spans over 12 centuries, without considering the Classical antiquity. The country was first unified by the Idrisid dynasty in 780, representing the first Islamic state in Africa autonomous from the Arab Empire. Under the Almoravid dynasty and the Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb and Muslim Spain. The Reconquista ended Almohad rule in Iberia and many Muslims and Jews migrated to Morocco.
• Under the Saadi dynasty, Morocco would consolidate power and fight off Portuguese and Ottoman invaders, as in the battle of Ksar el Kebir. The reign of Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and an invasion of the Songhay Empire was initiated. However managing the territories across the Sahara proved to be difficult. After the death of al-Mansur the country was divided among his sons.
• In 1666 the sultanate was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have since been the ruling house of Morocco. The organization of the state developed with Ismail Ibn Sharif. With his Black Guard he drove the English from Tangier (1684) and the Spanish from Larache (1689). The Alaouite dynasty distinguished itself in the 19th century by maintaining Moroccan independence while other states in the region succumbed to European interests.
• In 1912, after the First Moroccan Crisis and the Agadir Crisis, the Treaty of Fez was signed, effectively dividing Morocco into a French and Spanish protectorate. In 1956, after 44 years of occupation Morocco regained independence from France as the Kingdom of Morocco.
Masmuda• The Masmuda were one of the largest Berber tribal confederacies in the Maghreb, along with the Zanata and the Sanhaja• The Masmuda settled large parts of Morocco, and were largely sedentary and practised agriculture.• The residence of the Masmuda aristocracy was Aghmat in the High Atlas.
Masmuda• From the 10th century the Berber tribes of the Sanhaja and Zanata groups invaded the lands of the Masmuda, followed from the 12th century onwards by Arab Bedouins (Banu Hilal).• Ibn Tumart united the Masmuda tribes at the beginning of the 12th century and founded the Almohad movement, which subsequently unified the whole of the Maghreb and Andalusia.
ZENATA• Zenata were an ethnic group of North Africa , who were an Eastern Berber group and who are found in Tunisia , Algeria and Rif mountains.• According to Ibn Khaldoun, the Zenata are one of the main divisions of the medieval Berbers, along with Senhaja and Masmuda;• These tribes, traditionally nomads, were concentrated in Middle Maghreb thats why they called " Middle Maghreb " home of Zenata.
ZENATA• The Zenata were known for their horseriding skill. The Spanish word for "horserider", jinete, is derived from their name.• Their varieties of Berber, collectively termed Zenati, are spread over a wide area; for this reason, several languages are termed "Zenati“
ZENATA• Among these are Beni Snassen (or Ait Iznassen in Tamazight), a tribe that lives in Northern Morocco and Algeria, mostly in the mountains near Berkane called the Beni Snassen mountains; Sened (now extinct), and some Saharan oasis languages.• In the 8th century most Berber and Zenata were Kharijites and took part in the Maysara revolt against Umayyad rule. The last Kharijite rebellion was in the 10th century under Abu Yazid, and was defeated by the Fatimids.
Sanhaja• The Zenaga or Sanhaja (also Znaga or Sanhadja; Arabic: صنهاجةṢanhājah, Berber: Iẓnagen) were once one of the largest Berber tribal confederations of the Maghreb;• The meaning of the Berber word Iẓnagen is the oasis people. Its singular form is Aẓnag, which is frequently used today as a family name by many. In Berber, the word for "oasis" is Aẓnig or Amda.• From the 9th century Zenaga tribes began to establish themselves in the Middle Atlas range, in the Rif Mountains and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Sanhaja• With the invasion of the Maghreb by the Arab Banu Hilal tribe in the 11th century and the Maqil in the 12th, the Zenaga were gradually Arabized.
AIT ATTA• The Ait Atta (Tamazight ayt ɛaṭṭa) are a large Berber tribal confederation of North eastern Morocco.• They are divided into "five fifths" (khams khmas), all said to descend from the forty sons of their common ancestor Dadda Atta: these "fifths" are the Ait Ouallal, Ait Ouahlim, Ait Isfoul, Ait Yazza and Ait Ounbgi.• They speak Central Atlas Tamazight.
AIT ATTA• The Ait Atta originated as a political entity in the Jbel Saghro region in the 16th century with the founding of their traditional capital Igherm Amazdar. They subsequently expanded first northwards, becoming rivals of the Ait Yafelman, then southwards, taking control of oases in Tafilalt and the Draa River. By the 19th century their raids went as far as Touat in modern-day Algeria. They resisted the French entry into Morocco until 1933 .(David Hart, The Ait Atta of Southern Morocco, p. 14)
Ait Waryaghar• The Aith Waryaghar is an Amazigh tribe of the Rif region of north-east Morocco.• The Aith Waryaghar were the main group which participated in the Rif wars against the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco at the beginning of 20th century. The Spanish authorities considered it the nucleus of insumisión to the colonial authority in the Eastern zone of the protectorate (Battle of Annual).
Ait Waryaghar• During the Rif War of 1921-1926, the leadership of the Aith Waryaghar was concentrated in the Al-Khattabi family and, in particular, in the person of Muhammad bin Abd el-Krim al-Khattabi. Its centre was the small locality of Ajdir in the bay of Al Hoceima.• (David Hart, The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif (Tucson, Arizona, 1976)
Ait Seghrouchen• The Ait Seghrouchen (Tamazight ayt səγruššən) are a Berber tribe of east- central Morocco. They are divided into two geographically separated groups, one on the south side of the Middle Atlas and one on the north side of the High Atlas.• They speak a Zenati Berber dialect, Ait Seghrouchen Berber, sometimes grouped with Central Atlas Tamazight.
Ait Yafelman• The Ait Yafelman (Tamazight: ayt yaf-lman) are a large Berber tribal confederation of the eastern High Atlas of Morocco, with their capital at Imilchil.• They consist of four tribes: Ait Morghad, Ait Haddidou, Ait Izdeg and Ait Yahia.• These tribes created the alliance in the 17th century to counter the expansion of their Ait Atta neighbours.• The Ait Yafelman speak Central Atlas Tamazight.• Mezzine, Larbi (1987) (in French). Le Tafilalt, Contribution à lhistoire du Maroc aux XVIIè et XVIIIè siècles. Rabat.• Peyron, Michaël (1984). "Contribution à lhistoire du Haut-Atlas Oriental : les Ayt Yafelman" (in French). Revue de lOccident musulman et de la Méditerranée 38: 117–135.
Chiadma• Chiadma is a tribe located mainly at the Atlantic coast in the region between Safi and Essaouira. They mainly speak Moroccan Arabic with a special accent. The language factor is the main difference to the neighbouring tribe further to the south, Haha.• The Chiadma celebrate every year a pilgrimage known as Regraga which lasts 40 days and includes also some Haha populations.
Doui-Menia• The Doui-Menia or Dawi-Mani` (Arabic يوذوي ,منيعare a Banu Hilal Arab tribe of the Moroccan-Algerian border between Taghit and the Tafilalt region, centered on Abadla in the Guir valley.• They became prominent in the area with their expansion eastwards around the 17th century, notably at the expense of the Ghenanma.
Doui-Menia• they are divided into "five fifths" tracing their descent to a common ancestor, `Addi el-Meni`i;• According to Dunn (1977), these are:• Ouled Djelloul.• Ouled Youssef.• Idersa.• Ouled Bou Anane.• Ouled bel Giz.
Doui-Menia• . By the end of the nineteenth century their expansion had largely ceased• They were involved in resistance against the French conquest of the region.• Ross E. Dunn, Resistance in the desert: Moroccan responses to French imperialism 1881-1912. Taylor & Francis 1977.• Robert Capot-Rey, Transformations récentes dans une tribu du Sud-Oranais. Annales de Géographie 1952, vol. 61, n. 324, pp. 138-142
HAHA• The Hhaha or Iḥaḥan (Arabic حاحاḤāḥā) are a Berber people in the Western High Atlas in Morocco. They identify themselves as a tribe of (Chleuh) people, and speak the Tashlhit language. Their region stretches along from the city of Essaouira south to the Souss Valley, mainly on the Atlantic coast.• Their neighbours to the north are the Chiadma, who have a similar culture but are Arab speakers.
JEBALA• Jebala( )جبالةand Spanish:Yebala) refers to the inhabitants of the north-western region of Morocco.• The Jebala are of Berber origin; they adopted the Arabic language in the 12th and 13th centuries, influenced by Arabic-speaking neighbor population of Fes, northern Morocco and Al-Andalus.• The Jebala speak a non-hilalian Arabic dialect, which is influenced by the neighboring Berber languages and by the Spanish language following the occupation of the area by Spain during the protectorate era.• (S. Levy, EDNA (1996), Repères pour une histoire linguistique du Maroc, pp.127-137)
MZAB• Mzab ( )مزابis a confederation of tribes in the Chawiya plain south of Casablanca. The bulk of Mzab are arabized Berber tribes, while the rest are of Hilalian Arab origins.• Located in the historical breadbasket of the country (the Chawiya), Mzabs land is mostly used for wheat production, but is also famous for sheep husbandry.• Mzabs land is also nicknamed Al-alwa• The capital of Mzab is Ben Hmad.
MZAB• Mzab is divided into many smaller tribes, the most important of which are :• Hamdawa حمداوة• Khzazra الخزازرة• Oulad Fares اول د فارس• Beni Brahim بني براهيم• Maarif المعاريف• Mkhalkhliya المخلخلية• Oulad Belbagi اول د بلباجىBelbagi
Oulad Tidrarin• The Oulad Tidrarin (Arabic: )أول د تيدرارينis a Moroccan-Sahrawi tribe of mainly Arab origins, formerly considered to be of Ansar status. They speak Hassaniya Arabic. They are Muslims, belonging to the Maliki school of Sunni Islam.• The Oulad Tidrarin is one of the oldest Arab tribes that settled the Saguia el-Hamra their original home. Many live in the Cape Bojador area, some on the coast of Saguia el-Hamra, and some branches live in the south and east of Mauritania.
Oulad Tidrarin• Oulad Tidrarin can be divided into eleven clans:• 1. Almkalcha (Lamghalcha)• 2. Oulad Sidiasin Ben Aalilaassam• 3. Oulad El Ghazi• 4. Alabobat (Laaboubat)• 5. Oulad Sidahmad Boghanbur (Oulad Boughanbour)• 6. Al Husinat (Lahssinat)• 7. Oulad Ali (Al Alaouiin)• 8. Lahmaidat• 9. Ahl Yara• 10. Oulad Bousshab• 11. Lidadssa (Alidadsa)
Regraga• The Regraga are one of three tribes that formed the population of Essaouira, Morocco.• The Regraga came from the Jbel Hadid mountains and introduced Islam to the region; the other tribes were the Berber Haha and the Chiadma.• These tribes, along with the local large Jewish community, lived in harmony.
Tekna• The Tekna is a Sahrawi tribal confederation of Lamta Sanhaja Berber origins in today southern Morocco, but traditionally with wider migration routes.• The Tekna tribes speak Hassaniya Arabic and the Berber Shilha dialect in varying degrees.• They are divided into several berber- speaking and Arabic-speaking subtribes, organized into the two rivalling Ait Djemel and Ait Bella leff, or factions
Tekna• All Tekna are Muslims, belonging to the Maliki school of Sunni Islam.• Their traditional lifestyle was partly nomadic, based on camel and goat herding, and partly sedentary, controlling important routes of the Saharan caravan trade.