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The Znaga or Zenaga tribes were at the bottom of Sahrawi-Moorish society in today's Mauritania and Western Sahara in North Africa. They performed demeaning duties for their Hassane (warrior) and Zawiya (religious) overlords, and were additionally exploited through payment of the horma tax in exchange for protection, as they could not bear arms. Though often Arabized in culture and language, they are believed to be descended from the Sanhaja Berber population present in the area before the arrival of the Arab Maqil tribes in the 12th century, which was finally subjected to domination by Arab-descended warrior castes in the 17th century Char Bouba war;[1] according to Mercer, the word "znaga" is thought to be a distortion of "Sanhaja".

See also

Tribal castes and terms:


Further reading

  • John Mercer (1976), Spanish Sahara, George Allen & Unwid Ltd (ISBN 0-04-966013-6)
  • Anthony G. Pazzanita (2006), Historical Dictionary of Western Sahara, Scarecrow Press
  • Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff (1980), The Western Saharans. Background to Conflict, Barnes & Noble Books (ISBN 0-389-20148-0)


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