- The name Sous is derived from a river valley in southwestern Morocco around the city of Agadir, known as Oued Sous. The Sous region is located to the west of the Oued Drâa, north of the Sahara, and south of the Atlas Mountains and is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Inhabitants of this region are called Susi or Swasa, and they are also known as Shleuh, or "those who speak the Berber dialect Tashalhit." The region in which Tashalhit is spoken consists of all the Anti- and High Atlas Mountains stretching from the Atlantic coast eastward to Demnat and Skoura as well as part of the Sahara and the deep south of Morocco.The core tribes of the Sous are the Ammiln, Amanouz, Igouman, Tasserist, Ida Ou Samlal, Ida Ou Baqil, Aït Souab, Ida Ou Guendif, Aït Baha, Aït Mzal, Ida Ou Ktir, Ida Ou Zekri, and Aït Abdellah. They are sedentary village dwellers who practiced in their resource-poor valleys pastoral nomadism, intensive agriculture, and arboriculture. Historically, Swasa specialized in religious learning and filled many positions as prayer leaders and Quranic schoolteachers (talebs) throughout Morocco. Since the late 1880s, Swasa have left their dry, resource-poor valleys to pursue commercial activities in major urban centers of Morocco and Algeria (Oran), and in so doing they were projected into the heart of a growing market economy and nationwide and regional distribution system. By the end of World War II, there were major enclaves of Swasa in major Moroccan cities, and also by this time they shifted from the position of grocers to moden shop owners and managers. Today, they constitute a dynamic entrepreneurial segment of the Moroccan population, and their accumulated capitalist know-how is well illustrated in the emergence of a solid financial, commercial, and industrial Swasa elite. This elite has also been very successful in playing a key role in the major economic and political transformations that Morocco witnessed during and after French colonialism.See also Mozabites.
Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . Hsain Ilahiane. 2014.