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The Miknasa were a Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 tribe in Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and western Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...


The Miknasa Berbers originated in southern Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, but migrated westwards into central Morocco and western Algeria in pre-Islamic times. The modern Moroccan city of Meknes
Meknes is a city in northern Morocco, located from the capital Rabat and from Fes. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities and by the corresponding railway. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail , before it was relocated to Marrakech. The...

 bears witness to their presence.

After defeat by the Muslims many of the Miknasa converted to Islam. In 711
Year 711 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 711 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* April 30 – Ummayad troops led by...

 AD members of the tribe took part in the conquest of the Visigoth
The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, the Ostrogoths being the other. These tribes were among the Germans who spread through the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period...

 kingdom under Tariq ibn Ziyad. They settled north of Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 and in the 11th century founded the Aftasid
The Aftasids were a Berber Miknasa dynasty in Badajoz in the Al Andalus ....

 dynasty in Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....


Another group of the Miknasa took part in the Maysara uprising
Berber Revolt
The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740-743 AD took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate...

Year 739 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 739 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Charles Martel drives the Moorish invaders...

Year 742 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 742 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* Chinese poet Li Po is presented before the...

), adopted Kharijism and established the Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

 of Sijilmasa
Sijilmasa was a medieval trade entrepôt at the northern edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The ruins of the town lie along the River Ziz in the Tafilalt oasis near the town of Rissani...

 on the northern edge of the Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

. This became very wealthy as the western end-point of the Trans-Saharan trade route with the Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. In alliance with the Caliphate of Córdoba it was able to fight off the attacks of the Fatimids. However, when the Miknasa chief Al-Mutazz allied himself with the Fatimids, the Miknasa were driven out of Sijilmasa by the Maghrawa
The Maghrawa or Meghrawa were a Berber tribe in Morocco and central and western Algeria.-History:The Meghrawa, a tribe of Zanata Berbers, were one of the first Berber tribes to submit to Islam in the 7th century. They supported Uqba ibn Nafi in his campaign to the Atlantic in 683...

, who were allies of the Umayyads.

A further group of Miknasa were allied with the Fatimids against the Umayyads, and overthrew the Rustamids of Tahert
Tiaret is a large town in the central Algeria, that gives its name to the wider farming region of 'Wilaya de Tiaret' province. Both the town and region lie south-west of the capital of Algiers in the western region of the central highlands, in the Tell Atlas, and about from the Mediterranean coast...

 in 912
Year 912 was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar.-Africa:* Second rebellion of the Kutama tribesmen against the Fatimid Caliphate in two years.- Europe :...

 and drove the Salihids from northern Morocco in 917
Year 917 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar.- Asia :* The Great Yue Kingdom, later renamed Southern Han, is founded by Liu Yan in Guangdong and Guangxi.- Europe :...

. But they could not maintain their resistance to the Magrawa in northern Morocco permanently, and, weakened by the struggle, they were subdued by the Almoravids
The Almoravids were a Berber dynasty of Morocco, who formed an empire in the 11th-century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Their capital was Marrakesh, a city which they founded in 1062 C.E...

in the 11th century.