Sous

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The Sous, here northeast of Taroudannt, with Argan trees interplanted with cereal crops

The Souss (Arabic: سوس‎‎; Berber: Sus) is a region in southern Morocco. Geologically, it is the alluvial basin of the Oued Sous (Asif n Sus), separated from the Sahara by the Anti-Atlas Mountains. The natural vegetation in the Sous is savanna dominated by the Argan (Argania spinosa), a local endemic tree found nowhere else; part of the area is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to protect this unique habitat.

History[edit]

A well irrigated area, this has been one of Morocco's most fertile regions for centuries, known since at least the eleventh century for its cultivation and export of sugar. The golden age of the Sous was in the seventeenth century during the era of the kingdom of Tazerwalt, when the region enjoyed autonomy and profited from both the trans-Saharan gold trade and the sale of sugar to Portuguese, Dutch and English traders. The centre for foreign trade during this time was Agadir, a city 10 km north of the mouth of the Sous river.

Population[edit]

The Sous is inhabited by Berber peoples of Mesmouda & Senhaja; aside from some Darija-speaking tribes, the main inhabitants are the Shilha people, speakers of a distinct Berber language called Tasusit .

Bibliography[edit]

  • Boogert, Nico van den. The Berber Literary Tradition of the Sous: with an edition and translation of 'The Ocean of Tears' by Muḥammad Awzal (d. 1749), Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 1997. ISBN 90-6258-971-5
  • Montagne, Robert. Les Berbères et le Makhzen dans le sud du Maroc; essai sur la transformation politique des Berbères sédentaires (groupe Chleuh). Rabat: Dar Al-Aman, 2013 ISBN 9954-561-35-8.
  • UNESCO Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°18′N 9°20′W / 30.300°N 9.333°W / 30.300; -9.333