The Tuaregs are a Berber people from the Sahara desert; nomadic in spirit. His modus his modus vivendi is based on a scenario diametrically opposed to the immediacy of our time. And while they live a much harder life, they label their continued effort as part of their need for freedom and personal development.
They move in large groups through the desert, searching each season for the most convenient regions to live in. Never in the same place, always on the move.
They have opposed for more than two millennia anything that smacked of borders, government or the state. But, despite being divided into small communities and lacking political unity, they have come to possess a very defined social structure divided into two categories (free men and slaves) and into different social classes.
The Tuareg identity has always been linked to survival and continuous movement. To be able to face the threats of the inclement Sahara, they live in Jaimas, a wooden frame covered with fabrics of different nature, with a triangular structure, which allow it to shelter, protect from the wind and sand and provide the necessary mobility. for the continuous search for water and pastures.
Its most important capital is cattle; from it they get milk, meat and skins. In addition, if necessary, it is used for bartering.
But, their way of survival is not the only interesting thing about this town of more than 1 million members.
Customs and curiosities of the Tuaregs
The culture of the Tuareg would surprise and even scandalize many. Today we will mention some of these customs that characterize them so much:
- Women, in addition to performing the intrinsic tasks of the home, are those who manage resources, those who master reading and writing and those who decide on the camp. They are also the ones who keep it and everything inside it in case of divorce. Also, they can have as many lovers as they want before marriage.
- The women do not cover their faces, but the men do with a fine cotton cloth that allows them to cover their faces in the desert when the sand rises, and at the same time continue to see and breathe through it.
- To woo women, men often spend part of their time writing poetry. Women do too, taught by their mothers and thus able to «praise their partners» through words.
- His life is full of conversations around a tea, group activities related to oratory or music and education, either receiving it from another Tuareg or going to small classrooms scattered throughout the territory.
- They live the adoption of the Muslim religion in a very personal way, since they have done so without renouncing what culturally identifies them. For example, Tuareg religious ceremonies contain allusions to matrilineal spirits, as well as fertility, menstruation, the land, and ancestors.
- They are often known by the nickname «the blue men.» This is due to the fact that a natural dye, indigo, is used for the turbans, which dyes the skin.
- An important part of their culture is made up of amulets. The most important ones are shaped like crosses, which represent compasses and are passed down from parent to child.
- His sense of time is so particular that it even leaves an imprint on his record. As they tend to live far from urban centers, it is common for the father to «take advantage» of a trip to the city to notify the birth of several of his children, indicating an approximate and even random date.
- Blue, for the Tuareg, is the color of the world. The Tuareg have been called the «blue people» because of the indigo-colored clothing they traditionally wear that stains their skin.