Zenata (Berber: Iznaten, ⵉⵣⵏⴰⵜⴻⵏ or
Iznasen, ⵉⵣⵏⴰⵙⴻⵏ; Arabic: زناتة Zanātah) were a
Berber tribe, who inhabited an area stretching from western
Morocco in antiquity along with the
Sanhaja and Masmuda. Their
lifestyle was mainly nomadic.
Zenata adopted Islam early, still in the 7th century. While other
Berber tribes continued to resist the
Umayyad Caliphate conquest well
into the 8th century, they were quickly Arabized. They also formed
a substantial contingent in the subsequent Muslim invasion of Iberia.
The 14th-century historiographer
Ibn Khaldun reports that the Zenata
were divided into three large tribes: Jarawa, Maghrawa, and Banu
Ifran. Formerly occupying a large portion of the
they were displaced to the south and west in conflicts with the more
Kutama and Houara.
In the 10th century, the
Zenata were allied with the Caliphate of
Cordoba against the Fatimids. The
Zenata regained some political power
during the 13th century with the rise of the Zayyanid dynasty. Two
Zenata dynasties, the Marinids and the Wattasids, ruled
the mid-13th to mid-16th century.
Edmond Destaing in 1915 proposed "Zenati" as a loose
subgrouping within the Northern Berber languages, including Riffian
Berber in northeastern
Morocco and Shawiya Berber in northeastern
Rachid Bellil, Université d'Alger. "Les Zénètes du Gourara d'hier
à aujourd'hui (Sahara Zenatas)". Retrieved December 9, 2012.
Norman Roth. Jews, Visigoths, and Muslims in Medieval Spain:
Cooperation and Conflict. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
^ Nelson, Harold D. (1985). Morocco, a country study. Area handbook
series. Washington, D.C.: The American University. p. 14.
^ Ilahiane, Hsain (2004). Ethnicities, Community Making, and Agrarian
Change: The Political Ecology of a Moroccan Oasis. University Press of
America. p. 44.
^ Wright, John (2012). A History of Libya. Hurst. p. 48.
^ "The disappearance of
Zenata to the eighth century, them covering a
quarter of North Africa, is one of the most extraordinary facts the
Tamazgha has ever known." Les oasis du Gourara (Sahara algérien) Par
Rachid Bellil, (1999), p.77
^ Edmond Destaing, "Essai de classification des dialectes berbères du
Maroc Archived September 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", Etudes et
Documents Berbères 19-20, 2001-2002 (1915). Edmond Destaing, "Note
sur la conjugaison des verbes de forme C1eC2", Mémoires de la
Société Linguistique de Paris, 22 (1920/3), pp. 139-148
BNF: cb122603523 (data)
Sanhajas de Srayr