Literally group or faction, the taifas were the fragmented kingdoms in Al-Andalus. At one point there were as many as thirty nine of these mini-kingdoms or emirates.
After the dethronement of Hisham III in 1031 the Caliphate of the Omeyas broke up into 23 kingdoms, the so-called reinos de taifa (tautologically the kingdoms of the mini-kingdoms). This strengthened the position of the Christians in the north who were able to exact tributes (known as parias) or conquer many of them. The origins of the taifas lies in the administrative division of the Ummayad Caliphate of Córdoba, and in the ethnic division of the ruling elite, divided among Arabs (a powerful but tiny minority), Berbers, Iberian Muslims (known as Muladíes – the overwhelming majority) and the Saqaliba, Slavic mercenaries and former slaves originally from Eastern Europe.
Reunited again under the Almodades, their fall in 1232 led to a new prethora of taifas most of which were soon conquered by the Christians though Nazaari kingdom of Granada lasted until 1492.
“The taifa kingdoms in 1031 immediately after the fracturing of the caliphate.” (Wikipedia)