Eastern Morocco Zenati

Eastern Morocco Zenati dialects are a group of Berber dialects spoken in Morocco from Jerada Province to Berkane Province.

Eastern Morocco Zenati
Native toMorocco
Tifinagh, Arabic, Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

They belong to the Zenati dialectal group and are closely related to the main Riffian dialects,[1] as well as to the Aït Snous dialect, spoken beside the border in Algeria.[2]

Eastern Morocco Zenati is spoken among the Berber tribes of Beni Bouzegou, Beni Ya'la, Zkara, Bekhata, Haddiyin, Meharez, At Iznasen, and Rwaba'.[3][4]

Formerly, these dialects were also spoken in the area between Debdou and Taourirt (to the west of their current speaking area) by the tribes of Beni Koulal, Oulad Mahdi and Beni Chebel; these tribes are currently mainly Arabic-speakers.[2][3][5][6]


  1. J. Bourrilly, Éléments d'éthnographie marocaine, p.42 (Larose, 1932)
  2. G. P. Murdock, African Cultural Summaries, Volume 10 (Human Relations Area Files, 1958) : "The Zekara (Zkara), with whom are grouped the neighboring Bekhti (Oulad Bekhti), Chebel (Beni Chebel), Yala (Beni Yaala, Beni Yala), and Zeggu (Beni Bou Zeggou) of eastern Morocco and the Snus (Beni Snous) across the border of Algeria, belong to the Zenata division of the Berber branch of the Hamito-Semitic linguistic stock."
  3. P. Behnstedt, La frontera entre el bereber y el arabe en el Rif Archived 2016-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, p.14 (E.D.N.A, volume 6, 2002)
  4. note: P. Behnstedt (2002) cites Derawesh; the latter is actually a sub-tribe of Beni Bouzegou
  5. A. Bernard, Les confins algéro-marocains, p.30 (Larose, 1911)
  6. V. Picquet, Le peuple marocain: Le bloc Berbère, p.39 (Larose, 1925)

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