Ethnik series: The Tuaregs

Ethnik series: The Tuaregs
04/15/2017 Alicia L.

The Tuareg people are about 1 million nomadic people who live across the Sahara Desert, including in the North African countries of Mali, Niger, Libya, Algeria and Chad.

The Tuareg people trace their ancestry to the indigenous peoples of North Africa in ancient times.

 

the tuaregs 1

Tuareg is an Arabic term meaning abandoned by God. They call themselves Imohag, translated as free men. The language of the Tuareg is tamacheq, which is in the Berber language group. A written script called Titifinagh is used in poetry and also appears in Saharan rock art.

the tuaregs 2

Although they adopted some Arab customs in connection with herding practices, Tuareg social traditions are very different. Most are Muslims, but their traditional belief system and rituals overlap with Islam. They believe in the continuous presence of various spirits (djinns) so most Tuaregs wear protective amulets.

Their crafts consist mainly of metalworking (silver jewelry), leather working (boxes and saddles for camels), and woodworking (delicately decorated spoons and ladles).

Among the Tuareg, women have a great freedom and participate in family and tribal decisions. Descent and inheritance are both through the maternal line.

the tuaregs jewelry

the tuaregs 3

For thousands of years, the Tuareg economy revolved around trans-Saharan trade. There are basically five trade routes that extend across the Sahara from the northern Mediterranean coast to the African cities on the southern edge of the desert. Tuareg merchants were responsible for bringing goods from these cities to the north.

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Because of natural disasters and political tensions, it is difficult to make a living only from nomadic herding. Most rural Tuareg today combine different occupations, including herding, oasis gardening, caravan trading, and migrant labor. Others produce arts and crafts for the tourist trade.

The most striking attribute of the Tuareg is the indigo veil, worn by the men but not the women, giving rise to the popular name the Blue Men of the Sahara. Tuareg men begin wearing a veil at age 25, this veil is never removed, even in front of family members. It is believed that men began wearing the veil to protect their faces from the Sahara sands and to protect from evil spirits.

the ethnik series the tuaregs

I’m in love with this indigo people, and who doesn’t? So I made a Tuareg-inspired collection, so you can wear a little of their coolness every day.

tuareg necklace box

Moroccan keychain

touareg earrings 2

Via: wikipedia & everyculture

Comments (4)

  1. Kat 2 months ago

    Beautiful new collection and so happy to read the story that goes behind it! Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. petitplat 2 months ago

    Very interesting article, the cultural diversity of humans is always quite fascinating.

  3. Star of the East 2 months ago

    These tribes and cultures are so very different than what we are used to, love reading about them!
    Those amulets are amazing, your jewelry collection is gorgeous!

  4. Aiste 2 months ago

    Their ornaments are so beautiful! i love all that’s related to arabic cultures.

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