Imraguen people

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The Imraguen (Berber: Imragen) are an ethnic group or tribe of Mauritania and Western Sahara. Estimated at around 5,000 in the 1970s,[1] most members of the group live in fishing villages in the Banc d'Arguin National Park on the Atlantic coast of Mauritania.

They are believed to have Mande (Niger-Congo) origins and to descend from the ancient Bafour people. The name Imraguen (Berber orthography: imragen) is a Berber word meaning "fishermen". They are Muslims of the Sunni Maliki rite. The Imraguen language is a divergent form of Hassaniya Arabic that preserves elements of the Soninke language, reflecting their Niger-Congo heritage.

Militarily powerless, they were traditionally reduced to the degrading lower-caste status of Znaga, forcibly ruled and taxed (horma) by more powerful Berber, Hassane, and Zawia tribes, such as the Oulad Delim and Ouled Bou Sbaa.

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  1. ^ Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff, The Western Saharans, 1980, ISBN 0-7099-0369-3, page 50

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