Reguibat people


Reguibat / Regeibat / Erguibat

The Reguibat (Regeibat), also known as the Erguibat, are one of the largest ethnic groups in Western Sahara. Traditionally, their nomadic range included southern Morocco, much of Western Sahara, southwestern Algeria, northern Mauritania, and northwestern Mali.

Today, the Reguibat population exceeds 100,000 people, the vast majority of whom are now sedentary in their lifestyle.

Reguibat People

They are of Sanhaja origin, although they speak an Arabic dialect. The Reguibat living on the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara are known as the Reguibat es-Sahel, while those to the east are called the Reguibat es-Charg, or Lgouacem.

The Reguibat variously transliterated Reguibate, Rguibat, R'gaybat, R'gibat, Erguibat, Ergaybat) is a Sahrawi tribal confederation of mixed Arab and Sanhaja Berber origins.

The Reguibat speak Hassaniya Arabic, and are Arab in culture.

They claim descent from Sidi Ahmed al-Reguibi, an Arab Islamic preacher from Beni Hassan who settled in Saguia el-Hamra in 1503. They also believe that they are, through him, a chorfa tribe, i.e. descendants of Muhammad. Religiously, they belong to the Maliki school of Sunni Islam.



The Reguibat es-Charg are divided into the following subgroups:

The Reguibat es-Sahel are subdivided into the;



In the nineteenth century, the Reguibat acquired the warlike reputation for which they are still known today. At that time, their camel herds had grown in size, as had their need for pasturage; a Reguibat demographic expansión simultaneously occurred, which brought them into conflict with other groups. The Reguibat were at the height of their power in the early twentieth century when the French empire tried to bring northern Mauritania, southern Morocco, and southwestern Algeria under control. The Reguibat fought the French until their defeat in 1934.



  • James S. Olson / Peoples of Africa
  • Tony Hodges. Histórica! Dictionary of Western Sahara. 1982.