Maghrebi Arabs

Maghrebi Arabs (Arabic: :العرب المغاربة al-‘Arab al-Maghariba) or North African Arabs (Arabic: عرب شمال أفريقيا ‘Arab Shamal Ifriqiya) are the inhabitants of the North African Maghreb region whose native language is Arabic and identify as Arab.[1][2][3][4][5][6] This ethnic identity is a product of the Arab conquest of North Africa during the Arab–Byzantine wars and the spread of Islam to Africa.[7] The migration of Arabs to North Africa in the 11th century was a major factor in the ethnical, linguistic and cultural Arabization of the Maghreb region. The descendants of the original Arab settlers who continue to speak Arabic as a first language currently form the single largest population group in North Africa.[8]



Moroccan women traditionally wear copious amounts of jewelry on their neck, arms, head and ears. Preferably, the jewelry should be made from pure gold as this signifies that the family is economically well-off. The jewelry tends to be decorated with different jewels like rubies, olivines, Andalucian beads, pearls and diamonds. The olivines and the pearls are traditionally used in most Maghrebi jewelry. The olivine represents female beauty, and was historically associated with the pre-Islamic goddesses of the Arabian pantheon. The pearls used in the jewelry represent wealth and fortune.


Brides in Morocco adorn themselves in extensive amounts of jewelry, the amount of jewelry depends on the economic status of the family. Different regions in Morocco have different types of traditional jewelry. Brides in the region of Tanger-Tetouan add pearls to their traditional jewelry, whereas brides in the region of Fes add pheridot jewels and gold. In the Sahara, gold and coloured beads are added to the outfit. Families that can't afford to buy jewelry rent it for the occasion.

The headdresses used in the ceremony also tend to differ depending on the region. The northern region of Morocco, (Tanger-Tetouan), use a striped and glittery fabric to cover the bride's head. A headpiece in either silver or gold (depending on the region) is placed over the fabrics and is sometimes decorated with jewels. In the central region, Fes-Meknes, a decorated dark green and golden fabric is used, over it a golden headpiece is placed, decorated with dark green pheridot jewels and pearls hanging down over the face. In the southern region, Western Sahara, the women wear a headpiece decorated with gold pieces and coloured beads that differ from tribe to tribe. The bride's head is covered with a black fabric.







  • Basin
  • Sharba
  • couscous belbuslah
  • Ftàt
  • Ousban
  • psisa

List of tribesEdit


  • Azwafit, a tribe of Bedouin Arab origin, part of the greater Tekna confederation. Historically the tribe would escort and protect caravans for the payment of a fee known as "Ztata" or "Zfata", whence the name Azwafit. Because they became part of a bigger Berber tribe, the Arab sub-tribes are partially Berberised and speak Berber today. The writer La Chapelle noted that Azwafits counted the following five branches: Ait Ahmed Ou Ali, Ahl Hayin, Mhamd Ait Ait El Khennous, Ait Messaoud Ait Boukko and Ida Ou Louggan.[9]
  • Ahl Rachida, an Arab tribe, also referred to as Ouled Sidi Yaakoub. The tribe can trace its lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandson, Hasan ibn Ali.
  • Hyayna
  • Hamyane
  • Rhamna
  • Abda, an Arab tribe whose origin dates back to the arrival of the Beni Maqil tribe at the end of the Merinid era. Historian Eugene Aubin wrote: "The Abda are a powerful tribe, consisting of thirty-thousand cind lights, Arab purment race, they occupy a fertile territory, rich in horses and cattle. It is one of five quasi-Makhzen tribes of Morocco." It consists of three branches, Bhatra, Rabiaa and Ouled Amer.[10]
  • Beni Ahsen, an Arab-Moroccan tribe, part of Beni Maqil. They settled in the Missour and Almis area around the 16th century, and migrated northwest of the Sefrou region in the 17th century. In the 18th century they were pushed west by the Zemmour tribe, which had migrated north from the south. Today they are located in the region of Rabat and the Atlantic coast.[11]
  • Beni Amir
  • Beni Guil, an Arab tribe that can trace its lineage to the prophet's grandson, Hasan ibn Ali. In the 10th century their ancestors were given the right to graze in eastern and western Morocco by the Fatimid ruler Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah.
  • Beni Mathar
  • Beni Hassan
  • Maqil
  • Beni Khirane
  • Beni Zemmour

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Skutsch, C. (2013). Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Taylor & Francis. p. 119. ISBN 9781135193881. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  2. ^ Juergensmeyer, M.; Roof, W.C. (2011). Encyclopedia of Global Religion. SAGE Publications. p. 935. ISBN 9781452266565. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  3. ^ Suwaed, M. (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Bedouins. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 145. ISBN 9781442254510. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  4. ^ Brown, R.V.; Spilling, M. (2008). Tunisia. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark. p. 74. ISBN 9780761430377. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  5. ^ Bassiouni, M.C. (2013). Libya: From Repression to Revolution: A Record of Armed Conflict and International Law Violations, 2011-2013. Brill. p. 18. ISBN 9789004257351. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  6. ^ Simon, R.S.; Laskier, M.M.; Reguer, S. (2003). The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times. Columbia University Press. p. 444. ISBN 9780231507592. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  7. ^ Christides, Vassilios (2000). Byzantine Libya and the march of the Arabs towards the west of North Africa. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, Publications. pp. 44–64. ISBN 978-1841711331.
  8. ^ Shoup, John (2011). Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Publishers. p. 16. ISBN 978-1598843620.
  9. ^ Azwafit. Historical dictionary of the bedouins. Muhammad Suwaed. 2015
  10. ^ Historical dictionary of the bedouins. Muhammad Suwaed. 2015
  11. ^ Historical dictionary of the bedouins. Muhammad Suwaed. 2015