Rifians (in Tarifit Irifiyen), or Riffians, and by others also known as Riyafa or Rwafa, are a Moroccan Berber-speaking ethnic group of Northwestern Africa, who derive their name from the Rif region in the northern edge of Morocco. Being a part to Gibraltar Arc and living close to the Iberian peninsula, communities of Rifians are found both in northeastern Morocco and southern Spain, as well as elsewhere in Western Europe and North Africa. They are overwhelmingly maraboutic Sunni Muslims, but retain their pre-Islamic traditions such as high status for Rifian women. According to Irina Casado i Aijon, Rifians have traditionally organized themselves under "patrilineality and patrilocality principles". The oldest man in the household commands authority and responsibility for decisions, while women jointly care for the young and sick without any discrimination. Like other Berbers, temporary migration is an accepted tradition. The Rifians have been a significant source of Morocco emigrants into some European countries such as the Netherlands. Rifians speak the Tamazight group of Berber languages, specifically Tarifit or Zenatiya. The languages spoken depend on the region, with many Rifians who speak a Berber language also speaking Arabic or Spanish. Nineteen groups or social units of Rifians are known: 5 in the west along the Mediterranean coast which speak Arabic, 7 in the centre of which one speaks mainly Arabic and rest Riff language, 5 in the east and 2 in the southeastern desert area also speak the Riff-Berber language.The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
Rif people
Encyclopaedia Britannica
They have inhabited an impoverished and an eroded, deforested, poorly irrigated region. Poverty rate and infant mortality rates among Rifians has been high, according to a study published in 1980 by Terri Joseph. The Rifians have lived a largely settled, agricultural lifestyle, using hand tools, oxen and cattle to plow the steeply terraced land in their valleys. Horticultural produce along with sheep and goat meat, cheese, and milk provide the traditional sustenance. Some practice sardine-seining along the Mediterranean coast. Rifians have experienced numerous wars over their history. Some of their cultural traditions reflects and remembers this history, such as the singing and dancing of ''Ayara Liyara, Ayara Labuya'', which literally means "Oh Lady oh Lady, oh Lady Buya" and is accompanied by ''izran'' (couplets) and ''addjun'' (tambourine tapping). This tradition, states Hsain Ilahiane, is linked to the 11th-century destruction and deaths of the Rifian fathers during the raid by the Almoravid leader Yusuf ibn Tashfin. In more modern times, the Rif War caused numerous deaths of Rifian people and of Spanish as well as French soldiers. The Rif War witnessed the use of chemical weapons in the 1920s by the Spanish army. In 1958, some Rifian communities launched a modern nationalist movement. In the decades that followed, the Riff region has witnessed Rifian demonstrations and demands for recognition of Riffian language, culture and Berber studies at schools and universities. A resurgent Rifian nationalism in 2010, their protests in 2013 and protests in 2017 for ''hogra'' – a humiliating treatment by an abusive state, has drawn public attention, as well as claims of brutal suppression by Moroccan authorities. They are some 6 to 7 million Rifians in Morocco and Algeria, primarily in the Rifian provinces of Al Hoceima, Nador, Driouch, Berkane and as a minority language in Tangier, Oujda, Tetouan and Larache, and in Melilla, in Spain. In addition, Rifian expatriate communities also speak the language.

Tribes and tribal groups

The Rifians are divided into these tribes and tribal groups: * Ait Touzine, a tribal group * Ayt Uryaɣel, a tribal group * Ayt Bu Frah, partly arabic-speaking * Mestassa, partly arabic-speaking * Mtiwa, partly arabic speaking * Targuist, partly arabic speaking * Oulad Stout, partly arabic speaking * Ayt Bu Yihyi * Ayt Ɛammart, a tribal group * Ayt Sɛid, a tribe * Ayt Tourich, a tribal group * Ayt Yittuft * Igzinnayen, a tribal group * Ibdarsen (or Mtalsa), a tribe * Ibuqquyen, a tribal group * Ikebdanen (or Kebdana) * Iqarɛayen, five tribal confederacies * Tafarsit, a tribe * Timsaman, a tribal group

People of Rifian descent

* M'hamed Ababou * Mohamed Ababou * Ahmed Aboutaleb * Ibrahim Afellay * Mohamed Amekrane * Sellam Amezian * Mohammed Ameziane * Nordin Amrabat * Sofyan Amrabat * Oussama Assaidi * Mohamed Choukri * Najat El Hachmi * Massinissa Akandouch * Munir El Haddadi * Mounir El Hamdaoui * Omar Elabdellaoui * Mohamed ibn Abdelkrim El-Khattabi * Sanaa Hamri * Salima Ziani * Mohamed Hamri * El Mortada Iamrachen * Mohamed Ihattaren * Ali Lmrabet * Ahmed Marcouch * Mohamed Medbouh * Munir Mohamedi * Adel Taarabt * Driss Temsamani * Nasser Zefzafi * Mohammed Ziane

See also

*Ghomara language *Senhaja de Srair language


External link

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Rifian People Category:Berber peoples and tribes Category:Berbers in Morocco Category:Indigenous peoples of North Africa Category:Ethnic groups in Morocco Category:Muslim communities in Africa