The House of Illigh


A historic crossroads between Timbuktu, Morocco and Europe. The House of Illigh was compiled by Bert Hogervorst.


In this book, 14 authors transport the reader into the turbulent history of the House of Illigh in the deep south of Morocco. This forgotten corner was once a hub for caravans bringing merchandise from Timbuktu across the Sahara to Illigh and beyond. These goods ultimately supplied both the national and European markets.

To this very day, Illigh’s towering fortress walls bear witness to the role of the Aboudmiaas, a local ruling family in the 17th and 19th centuries. Although the Trans-Saharan trade brought them power, influence and wealth, it also created envy, destruction and family feuds.

Trade made way for research in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the 1980s, the Aboudmiaas worked with the late academic Paul Pascon on recording and sharing Illigh’s heritage. Some of the contributors to this publication were part of his original research team. Hence, this book highlights Pascon's legacy while also striving to extend it.

Writing in either French or English, the authors provide a richly illustrated, unique and integral history, which also emphasises Illigh’s relationship with the Netherlands. Subjects include:

  • A short introduction to Illigh by Aicha Aboudmiaa;
  • Illigh’s Jewish community by Daniel Schroeter;
  • The West African slave trade by Bert Hogervorst;
  • A graphic article featuring the main aspects of this publication by Peti Buchel and Bert Hogervorst;
  • The Dutch connection to Illigh in the 17th century by Herman Obdeijn;
  • A family archive containing correspondence with the Moroccan royal family by Mohammed Ennaji;
  • Restoring a unique photograph by Léopold-Victor Justinard by Annie Wright
  • Family & water feuds between Illigh and the valley of Tumanar by Keltoum Mosdik;
  • The Tashehyit narrative tradition in this region (Harry Stroomer and Mohamed Saadouni);
  • A personal story of one of Pascon's students during the Illigh research (Ian Whitelaw);
  • An integral history of the House of Illigh in a broad international context by Paolo De Mas;
  • The first ever elucidation of the kasbah’s architecture by Dominique Verdugo
  • The book contains drawings, notes and correspondence by Paul Pascon that are here published for the first time.

The preface is by Dr. Léon Buskens, Director of the NIMAR (the Netherlands Institute in Morocco).

The House of Illigh was compiled by Bert Hogervorst.

Publishers: Cultural Heritage Publications & Maison de la Photographie de Marrakech, 2021, reprint 2022
ISBN: 978-90-831507-1-0
Language: A variety of articles in English or French
Paperback: 108 pages, full colour
Dimensions: 28.5 x 20 x 6.1 cm



Aicha Aboudmiaa, Peti Buchel, Mohammed Ennaji, Bert Hogervorst, Paolo De Mas, Keltoum Mosdik, Herman Obdeijn, Paul Pascon, Mohamed Saadouni, Daniel Schroeter, Harry Stroomer, Dominique Verdugo, Ian Whitelaw & Annie Wright. Some of the authors were part of Pascon’s original research team.

The House of Illigh was compiled by Bert Hogervorst.

About Bert Hogervorst
Bert Hogervorst is fascinated by ancient handwritten texts about everyday life. As a student, she gained Master’s degrees in Classics (Greek Literature) and Egyptology with Greek Papyrology, Demotic and Coptic as minors. Since then, sharing knowledge about Near Eastern and North African cultures has been a constant theme in her working life. Besides presenting lectures and writing articles and a book, she has also introduced many visitors to these regions. This began with Egypt - where she also learned Arabic – and now includes Morocco. It was there that she discovered the Kasbah of Illigh and its historic archive.

Reviews (a selection)

Un livre collective soigné comme un bijou et édité par Bert Hogervorst
Mohammed Ennaji, Morocco

I read every word of La Maison d’Illigh, right up to the tiniest footnote… And I loved it, it is a wonderful academic work…
Annick, France

It looks so appetising you'll want to read it right away!
Lizet, Netherlands

It's extremely beautiful! I really love all the information in what look like footnoots. I am absolutely delighted!
Marie, Netherlands

Your Completely Gorgeous Books arrived today! Wow, they are spectacular! I knew they would be, but they are even more beautiful than I imagined. I look forward to reading them and soaking up the images.
Frankie, Canada

Additional information

Weight 392 g
Dimensions 28.5 × 20 × 0.5 cm