"The port of Timbuktu"
From the Middle Ages
to the 17th century there were sugar-cane refineries
in the province of Mogador. Other local products was fish and
cereals but Mogador exported also items coming from Africa with
the caravan trade.
The merchants of the souk traded salt,
gold, slaves........for European cloth and Chinese
Jewish merchant families were recruited by the sultan to take
charge of developing trade and relations in Mogador in relation
The Sultan´s merchants
The extraordinary and
privileged Jewish tujjar elite controlled
all of the major imports of Mogador and other Moroccan trade centers
where their influence was gradually extended. These included sugar,
tea, metals, gunpowder,
and tobacco. The tujjar also managed such vital
exports as wheat, hides, cereals, and wool,
items which became government monopolies at the time.
The one exception was all artisan work
connected to wood, directly linked to the vast forests around
The tujjar declined in influence
after the 1890s with the aggressive penetration of the European
powers into the Sharifian Empire of Morocco. By the early part
of the 20th century, and certainly following the formation of
the French protectorate (1912), they disappeared from
the scene. A new elite of Jewish entrepreneurs, recruited by
the French, Spaniards, Italians, and British
commercial houses replaced them, as did foreign merchants who
settled in Mogador and other parts of the country,
controlling commerce until Moroccan independence in 1956.
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