Maure, Black Maure
Moor, Mauritania, Arab
Coat colour generally black with white tip to the tail; coat has long, coarse stiff black hair in loose ripples over a softer undercoat; strong head with flat forehead; facial profile is convex in males, but less so in females; well developed tear glands; well-developed, triangular shaped horns, flat spiral directly outwards from head up to 30 cm in length; females usually hornless; broad, pendulous ears; legs long and lightly fleshed (Wilson, 1991).
Maintained by the Moor tribes of southern Mauritania (Hodh region), in northern Mali in the Nara, Nioro and Niono areas and eastwards to the western border of the Niger inundation zone, and in northern Senegal; inhabits pastoral arid areas with low and highly seasonal rainfall, with some opportunistic crop growing.
The Maure sheep probably descended from the Rio de Oro sheep of northern Mauritania, which in turn descended from the Maghreb type of Morocco. In general the hairy thin tailed type of sheep like the Maure originated in western Asia, and entered Africa through the Isthmus of Suez and Bab el Mandeb. Until the third Millennium BC, the hairy thin-tailed sheep was the only type of sheep on the African continent. Domestic sheep had reached Egypt and other parts of North Africa by 5000 BC (Epstein, 1971).