Imraguen people

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

The Imraguen are believed to descend from the 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 influence.

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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