/rif/, n.Er /er/, a mountainous coastal region in N Morocco. Also, Riff.
* * *Muslim Berber people who live in El-Rif in northern Morocco.Their culture is based on cultivation, herding, and fish processing. They speak a dialect of Berber, but Arabic and Spanish are also widely used. They have traditionally flouted central-government control and have often instigated uprisings and attempted coups. Led by Abd el-Krim, they declared a short-lived independent republic, the Republic of the Rif (1921–26), which was quashed by a French-Spanish alliance.
* * *▪ mountains, Moroccoalso called Rif Mountains, Arabic Al-Rifmountain range of northern Morocco, extending from Tangier to the Moulouya River valley near the Moroccan-Algerian frontier. For the greater part of its 180-mile (290-km) length, the range hugs the Mediterranean Sea, leaving only a few narrow coastal valleys suitable for agriculture or urban settlement. The higher peaks, including Mount Tidirhine, which at 8,059 feet (2,456 metres) is the loftiest, are snowcapped in winter. Although the mountains are highly mineralized, only iron ore is mined on a large scale. Attracted to the region's ruggedness and remoteness, Amazigh ( Berber) tribes led by Abd el-Krim (1882–1963) resisted Franco-Spanish occupation there in the 1920s. Since Moroccan independence in 1956, communications across the Rif have been improved with a summit road and the Route de l'Unité (from Fès to Kétama).▪ peoplealso spelled Riff , or Riffiany of the Berber peoples occupying a part of northeastern Morocco known as the Rif, an Arabic word meaning “edge of cultivated area.” The Rif are divided into 19 groups or social units: 5 in the west along the Mediterranean coast, 7 in the centre, 5 in the east, and 2 in the southeastern desert area. One central group is Arabic-speaking, as are sections of the five western groups. The others generally speak Rif, a regionally variable Berber language, but many also speak Spanish or Arabic. The Rif are Muslims.The land of the Rif is a combination of mountains, rolling fields, and deserts, bordered by two rivers and 145 miles (233 km) of coastline. Their material culture is based on cultivation, herding, and sardine-seining.Before their loss of independence in 1926 (see Rif War), the Rif were organized by kinship and residence into graded units. Each unit elected or appointed a council of men who were renowned fighters.
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