ETHNONYMS: Salīb, Slavey, Slêb, Sleyb, Solubba, Sulaib, Suleib, Sulubba, Szleb


Sleb camps are currently small and scattered, sometimes even consisting of a single family, with one or two tents. In the nineteenth century, however, camps of fifteen to twenty-five tents, with twenty to thirty families per tent, were observed.

Sociopolitical Organization

The Sleb are integrated into the khuwa system prevalent in their area, whereby pastoral communities, which act as patrons toward politically weaker groups, exact tribute from them in return for shelter and protection.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Formally, all Sleb are Muslims. Various authors, however, have observed numerous pre-Islamic traditions among them, and some have speculated about Christian influences.

Traditionally, the Sleb had a distinctive hooded dress or shirt made from several gazelle skins; it was open at the neck and had long sleeves gathered at the wrist but extending to and covering the hands.


Dostal, W. (1956). "Die Sulubba und ihre Bedeutung für die Kulturgeschichte Arabiens." Archiv für Völkerkunde 9:15-42.

Henninger, J. (1939). "Pariastämme in Arabien." Sankt Gabrieler Studien 8:503-539.

Pieper, W. ( 1923). "Der Pariastamm der Slêb." Le monde oriental 17(1): 1-75.


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