High Atlas Mountains
   The Atlas Mountains are a series of mountain ranges that stretch from west to east across North Africa. They run for 1,931 kilometers from the Moroccan city of Agadir in the southwest to the Tunisian capital of Tunis in the northeast. The two major parts of the Atlas Mountains are the northern and southern sections. The northern section is formed by the Tell Atlas, which receives enough rainfall to bear fine forests. The southern section, which is subject to desert influences, is called the Saharan Atlas. To the west and east of these mountain ranges lie the High Atlas and the Aurès Mountains, respectively. The highest point of the Atlas Mountains culminates in Morocco at Jbel Toubkal, which has an elevation of 4,165 meters and many other peaks above 3,000 meters.
   The High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, in turn, consist of eastern and western High Atlas regions. It is a highly complex region made up of different zones with variations, both in altitude and in annual precipitation. Precipitation is concentrated in the winter months, ranging from about 400 millimeters in the foothills to 800 millimeters in the higher valleys. Much of the precipitation falls as snow between October and March and can produce an important cover down to about 1,500 meters. The region is also subject to intense and shortduration rain during the summer that can be destructive. The High Atlas is home to a diverse Berber population whose mixed economy is based on pastoral nomadism and agriculture. This population includes several Berber confederations, such as the Aït Atta n'Oumalou, Aït Yaflman, Aït Saghrouchene, Bni Ouarain, sections of the Aït Oumalou, Rheraya, Aït Mghran, Aït Wawzwit, Glawa, Goundafa, and Mtuggua. The southern slopes of the High Atlas, made of parts of the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara, constitute the land of the Aït Atta of the Sahara. Similar to the Middle Atlas region, their livelihoods are derived from livestock production, intensive agriculture and arboriculture, and off-farm income generated by tourism and emigration revenues.
   See also Aurès Mountains; Kabyles; Rif; Sous.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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