Marabouts (mârˈəbōts) [key] [Arab., = devotee hermit], members of a Muslim religious and military community, precursors of the Almoravids. They spread from NW Africa into Spain in the 11th and 12th cent. The Marabouts later became known as holy men and were greatly venerated as saints. They now live in monasteries or are attached to mosques. Their tombs, also called Marabouts, are often places of pilgrimage.