Tafilalt (täfēˈlält) [key], Tafilelt täfēˈlĕlt, or Tafilet –lĕt, oasis in the Sahara, SE Morocco, c.530 sq mi (1,370 sq km). It has date groves and small trading settlements. After c.760 it was an independent kingdom for nearly two centuries, growing rich on the caravan trade with lands south of the Sahara. Sijilmasa (now in ruins) was the chief trade center and the capital of the kingdom. Since the Middle Ages the region has been noted for its dates and leather. It was the original seat of the ruling dynasty of Morocco, which came to power in the late 17th cent.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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