Linguistics 105  

Pictures of Tuareg people and places

Click the links below to see some pictures of speakers of Tamazhaq and places where they live and work

Salisu ag Hamedu: Salisu is the main source of the data in the 105 sample paper.

Salisu and pals making tea: Tuaregs spent a good part of their life drinking tea!

Tuareg putting on a turban: The Tuareg are famous for their turbans. They often wear indigo-dyed turbans, and the indigo rubs off on their skin, giving them the name "blue men". Wearing turbans probably came about as a means of protection from the harsh sun, wind, and sand in the desert, but it is now much more than that. Men do not like to expose their mouths and will, for example, often lift up the veil of the turban and drink their tea under the veil.

Tuareg country: Map showing where Tamazhaq is spoken. Tanout is in the southeast corner.

Mosque in Agadez, Niger: Agadez is the largest town in Tuareg area of Niger. Though most Tuareg are nomads, some live in permanent residences. The population of Agadez itself is mostly non-Tuareg, but it is fully in the Tuareg zone, many Tuareg live in small villages in the vicitny, and there are always many Tuareg in Agadez, visiting the market and the like. The mosque is a famous landmark. I don't know its history, but it is very old and was built by the same architect who built a similar mosque in Timbuctu, Mali.

Caravan in the Tenere desert: The northeastern part of Niger east of Agadez is called the Tenere Desert, a vast sub-section of the Sahara Desert, with a few oases. It is amazing! You travel all day and see nothing by sand in every direction. The Tuareg have plied the Tenere for centuries in camel caravans, collecting salt and dates from oasis and taking trade goods to the oases. This and some of the other pictures were taken in 1966, but there are camel caravans like this up until today.

L'Arbre du Tenere (The Tenere Tree): Another amazing site--a lone acacia tree in the middle of the Tenere desert with no other sign of anything growing for perhaps hundreds of miles in any direction. I took this picture in 1966. It is my understanding that the tree is no longer there but is on display in a museum in Niamey, the capital of Niger. However, at the time, it was a landmark on maps and for caravans crossing the desert. There is a well there that the Miichelin maps described as having eau tres mauvaise a 150 metres.

Ghobeid ag Alojaly: A linguist works with Ghobeid ag Alojaly (author of Lexique Touargue-Francais) in Agadez, Niger, 1967.

Turbaned figure in Agadez: Is that person a Tuareg?!