Tuareg Anthropology Paper

Topics: Tuareg, Mali, Sahara Pages: 3 (940 words) Published: April 30, 2007
The Tuareg People

The Tuareg are nomadic people who live in parts of Sahara that covers Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mali , Niger and Burkina Faso . Their numbers are unclear, but estimates run between 300,000 and 1 million. The Tuaregs speak a language called Tamershak, to which there is a proper alphabet. They are known under the name of "Blue Men", because men cover their face with a dark blue veil. The veiling has different meanings; it shows the male gender role identity and shows that he respects the cultural values of the Tuareg. The face-veil is also attractive to the women and has many different styles. Women do not wear a veil on their face. They only cover their head. Women can show their hair only after marriage which means that she cannot be loved by any other man. However, women play so strong a role in the society that social status depends on matrilineal descent From the non-scholarly article we get just the basic information, like an overview of the culture. It presents the general information about the living conditions and some of the customs, a short history and their situation today. From a few sentences we found that their food comes from the crops they farm, like barley, wheat, corn, onions, tomatoes, and dates. Their menu is manly based on vegetables; they eat meat only on holidays and rites of passage. They have a secret naming ceremony about a week after a baby is born. The night before the naming ceremony, older women give the baby a secret Tamacheq name. The day of the naming ceremony they cut a piece of the baby's hair and bind it with the spirit world and the father gives the baby an official Arabic name from the Koran. The Islamic scholar, the religious leader performing the ceremony, cuts the throat of a ram while he says the name of the baby and everyone celebrates with a feast, camel-races, and evening dancing festivals. Most of the Tuareg are Muslims. But they also believe in the existence of evil spirits and they...
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