World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


The Tekna country (red) and migration routes (yellow)
Total population
approx. 669,000
Regions with significant populations
Morocco - Guelmim region, Tarfaya zone
Western Sahara - Saguia el-Hamra
Hassaniyya, Shilha
Predominantly Muslim
Related ethnic groups

The Tekna is a Sahrawi tribal confederation of Lamta Sanhaja Berber origins[1] in today southern Morocco and northern Western Sahara, but traditionally with wider migration routes. Nowadays, its population is estimated to be around 669,000.[2]


  • Demographics 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


The Tekna tribes speak Hassaniya Arabic and the Berber Shilha dialect in varying degrees.[3]

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.

They are divided into several berber-speaking and Arabic-speaking tribes, organized into the two rivalling tribal confederations, or leff:[4]

  • Aït Djemel confederacy (Western Tekna), consisting of the tribes of Aït Lahcen, Izerguiyen, Yaggout, and Aït Moussa Ou Ali ;
  • Aït Atman (or Aït Bella) confederacy (Eastern Tekna), consisting of the tribes of Azouafit, Aït Oussa, Aït Brahim, and Aït Hmad.


During the 17th century, Morocco under Sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif seized control over the territory from the Moulouya River south to Senegal and Timbuktu. Contingents of Tekna troops were then sent to the Senegal valley on behalf of the Sultan.[5]

After 1765 the Tekna revolted, acquiring greater autonomy.[6] On May 30, 1767, Mohammed ben Abdallah, Sultan of Morocco, signed a peace and commerce treaty with King Charles III of Spain, recognizing that Morocco did not control the Tekna tribes.[7]

However, at the time of the Spanish colonization and at the beginning of the 20th century, the Tekna tribes recognized the Sultan of Morocco as their overlord.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ Castellino, Joshua (2000). International Law and Self-Determination. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoof publishers. pp. 239–243.  
  2. ^ Berber, Tekna
  3. ^ Claire Cécile Mitatre, « Le couloir ouest-saharien : un espace gradué », L’Année du Maghreb, VII (2011), p.211-228
  4. ^
  5. ^ Attilo Gaudio (1993), Les populations du Sahara occidental: histoire, vie et culture, p.106
  6. ^ Attilo Gaudio (1993), Les populations du Sahara occidental: histoire, vie et culture, p.107
  7. ^ Pedro Giménez de Aragón Sierra. "Proyecto Ibn Jaldun. VII. El colonialismo español en el s. XIX: África. 2. Chafarinas, Sidi Ifni y el Sáhara." (in Español).  
  8. ^ Histoire et géographie de l'Europe. Tekna Confederation (Tekna). Depends upon Morocco
  9. ^ International Court of Justice. Advisory Opinion of 16 October 1975


(French) Attilo Gaudio, "Les populations du Sahara occidental: histoire, vie et culture", ed. Karthala 1993, (Chap. VIII, pp. 97–116) (ISBN 2-86537-411-4) [2]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.