Arabic Literature of Africa Online

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(501 words)

The Kunta, although they consider themselves “Arabs” and claim ʿUqba b. Nāfiʿ as their eponymous ancestor, are most likely Berber by origin. Their early history is unclear, but from the mid-sixteenth century they begin to emerge as a distinct and relatively large tribe, and they began to roam over wide areas of the Sahara from al-Sāqiyāʾ al-ḥamrāʾ in the north to the Hodh (al-Ḥawḍ) in the south, and eastwards as far as the oasis of Tuwāt, where eventually a settlement known as the Zāwiyat Kunta emerged. In the early eighteenth century a rift occurred. Clans descended from . Muḥammad al-Ṣa…

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“Introduction”, in: Arabic Literature of Africa Online, General Editor John O. Hunwick, R.S. O’Fahey. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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