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Index / Peoples
Blacks of Mauritania


Term often used for the non-Moorish ethnic groups of Mauritania. Major Black peoples include Wolof; Fulani; Soninke; Bambara and a few more very small groups. These peoples are also represented with far larger communities in neighbouring Senegal and Mali.
There are about 1 million Blacks in Mauritania, representing 30% of the population.
Most Black peoples are sedentary and live along the Senegal river; except the Fulani which has a nomadic culture and economy.
The social structures of the Blacks are highly stratified, divided into 3 main classes: nobles; endogamous castes; and a servile class. Into the servile class are slaves and former slaves, who are considered part of the family of the owner(s) and treated relatively humane.






By Tore Kjeilen