puits pastoral Aïr

A settled population lives in these beautifully maintained gardens. A lot of nomads travel from town to town around these wide spaces with their trade caravans, pastoral nomads herd their livestock  from one pasture to another, in search of grass and water. The important nomadic tribes are the Moors in Mauritania, of Arab-Berber origin, the Tuareg in Central Sahara, of Berber origin, and the Toubou, the mountain people from Tibesti.

Most of these people are Berber people with a traditionally nomadic pastoralist lifestyle, just like Peuls who practice cattle breeding.

When they arrived in Africa, the Arabs gave the name “Molâthemîm” to the Tuareg. It means ” people of the veil”. This name is still widely used today. However what unites the Tuareg is their common language. They call themselves “Kel Tamashek”, which means “The Tamashek speaking people”. They also use the Tifinagh, a Lybian-Berbeic writing, taught only by women in the villages and camps.

A pivotal role is that of the women’s. Indeed, Tuareg women have high status compared with their Arab counterparts. The children are members of their mother’s tribe and the family tent belongs to her. She also has the role of spreading knowledges of Tuareg culture.

There is much to say about these people who have known for so many years how to survive in this region where life is so difficult. Tuareg are controlled by nature, but they know how to live in harmony with it. Even more, they have created a very rich culture based on exchanges, pictures and modesty.

Their words, their poetry, their clothes, their objects, their whole art of life is based on an elegant modesty. Even though they stay in the middle of the desert, they continue to cultivate self-control as well as the art of speaking and moving.

Day by day  they create a sensitive and refined way of life Towards austerity. It nevertheless remains a fragile life. In the desert, life often hangs by a thin thread. You have to get a rope before walking to the well, you must know the stars if you don’t want to get lost along the way, you must water the plant if you want it to bear fruit.Every element here is important and deserves our attention.


 In this era of globalization, these people contribute to give our planet wealth. It’s our duty to help them so that the desert never becomes empty, and what’s most important, to make the dream of these people come true : continue living on their traditional lands they love so much, lands that contain their whole history.

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