THE TUAREG referat


The Tuareg are nomadic stock farmers and are akin to the Berber. They live in the south of the Sahara (only few thousands) and in the Sahel (500 000). There are light-skinned and dark-skinned Tuaregs. Former a hierarchy with aristocrats, vassals, dependent people and slaves existed, but nowadays it is not important. Earlier the Inads', e.g. smiths, were dispised, but today they repair cars and have money in contrast of the Imoshar'. This group is not allowed to do something because of their social status and so they ask former slaves for money. The Tuareg focus day-to-day survival, stock farming, cattle deal and transport with caravans become more. The last years tourism brought money, too. They live in Niger, Mali, Algeria, Lybia and Burkina Faso.

The language of the Berber, the Tamahak in the north and Tamashek in the south is typical for the culture of them. The writing of the Tuareg is called Tifinar. In Air, in north of Niger, where areas for the Tuareg exist, children learn French, Tamashek and Tifinar. Marking of the Tuareg is the so-called Tagelmust' (Arabian: Chech). It is a scarf to wear in the face which has only holes for the eyes, but only men wear it. The Tuareg build a cultural and speech community: Everybody who accepts the Imoshar' (culture of the Tuareg), lives with the Tuareg, speaks their language and wears suitable clothes is seen as Tuareg. They are not a nation, but in the Sixties they had the possibility to get their own state.

Among the Tuareg are many rival groups and this made a union against the governments of Niger and Mali difficult. Niger kept international aid after dryness from the Tuareg away and they were forced to move in other areas without knowing how to live there. Thus they fled to Algeria and Lybia. In April 1990 many young Tuareg were imprisoned after a protest against misappropriation of aid supplies. They were set free by Tchin-Tabarads who killed a prison officer. Hence the army of Niger imprisoned Tuareg, made public executions, raped women, robbed and poisoned springs of the Tuareg and in this way more than thousand Tuareg were killed. In Mali the organization FLAA (Front Liberation Air and Azawagh) was founded in 1991 and demanded the autonomy of the northern areas of Niger. In April 1992 the government of Mali made a peace treaty. It contains e.g. more right to say, integration of the Tuareg-fighter in the army, measures for economic development. Only one year later the armistice was often broken by the army of Mali. In Niger three armistices in three months were made. On April 15th, 1995 was the final peace treaty signed.

In contrast to the Arabians who lived not originial in North Africa (they settled there in 6th and 11th century) women have a high position at the Tuareg. The woman is responsible for the tent, the hut, feeding and the growing up of children. Figure of authority is the oldest woman in the family. Women do not have to hide of their men, do not have to be always in the house', to wear a veil, and they take the initiative to court a man. It is very hard to live in the desert and semi-desert, but the Tuareg are well-adjusted and one woman doesn`t get more than four children. Men and women get to know at the traditional Tindi', a ceremony where singing and riding games take place. There a woman chooses her partner.

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