PHOTOS: The Life Of The Tuareg

tuareg

Photo: AP Images

The Tuareg have recently been in the news for helping Qaddafi loyalists escape from Libya. But many members of the tribe are trying to flee the chaos themselves.Both Qaddafi and the Tuareg have relied on each other. Qaddafi trained the Tuareg at Libyan camps and then sent them off to fight his wars, while the Tuareg often smuggled out weapons from the camps to arm themselves in their uprisings against Niger’s government.

We’ve put together a feature on the life of the Tuareg people, from their nomadic life in the desert to their love of an indigenous rock band.

The Tuareg are a nomadic people in North and West Africa, that had their lands taken over by Niger, Mali, Algeria and Libya

They depend on their animals for sustenance. Here Tuareg clansmen herd cattle in the land between Koygma and Timbuktu in Northern Mali

Tuareg men often wear indigo or blue turbans and cover their faces in part to protect from the sun, but also as part of a tradition to hide emotions


Women are not required to wear a veil. Here a Tuareg woman kneads dough

The Tuareg speak Tamashek, which is tied to Berber languages spoken in Algeria and Morocco

They wander the deserts of the region and in the 1990s many were trained and armed by Muammar Qaddafi

Tuareg's recruited by Qaddafi have been in the news for helping loyalists escape during the civil unrest in Libya

Tinariwen are Malian rock group formed in exile in Algeria and trained in Libyan military camps. They sing songs about the life of the Tuareg and are popular among the nomads

Here they perform a traditional dance in Mali

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