The Tuareg Caravans

The desert is an extreme environment . The heat is unbearable and dehydrating at the same time. Water , just as like want available to the people of Niger who were Tuaregs. So for the first millennium of their existence they used to cross the desert into the bilma oasis to exchange millet , maize, beans and cheese for salt pillar and dates.

The Tuareg are a Berber nomadic pastoralist people. These are the main inhabitants of the Sahara region of Africa,. In general , they call themselves kel tamasheq which actually means speakers of the language tamasheq.

Believed to have moved over the past two millenia , the Tuareg are now believed to like in the north and west of Africa. Although some researches believe that they have moved to the south. These people used to be the Saharan nomads. They used to have a writing script called tifinah.

The Tuareg are original descendants of the Sahara people. Herodotus describes these people are ancient Libyans people of the kingdom of garages. The ruins of germa have evidence of these facts.

Later on the legendary queen tin hinan from the tafilalt region expanded Tuareg southwards towards sahel. Tin hinan is responsible and credited for uniting the tribes and the culture that stills stands strong in our researchers later found a tomb of a woman later on and its was speculated that the tomb was no others than tin hinan herself.

The Tuaregs are primarily nomads and because of that they live across and operated the trans Saharan caravan trade which connected many major cities . This was done via five routes through the desert right onto the coast of Africa.

Human transport through the harsh deserts were almost like going against survival. Hence camels were incorporated into the nomad desert tradition , this was brought in by the Arabs from the Sahara . The group later started to take in hostages , this was done for captives trade of sale. Sometimes even for just to have them as local help and labor.

The captives who were traded or sold became part of the Tuareg community eventually.

The journey from Agadex to Bilma and back, this is the journey that the caravans come together in preparation for the departures in October. This journey lasts for about three weeks.

The food supply that is carried is just enough so that the rider and the camel can survive the journey. And also there is an issue about the weight carried , so good distance can only be accomplished with light weight.. the journey starts with a strong camel count of about twenty thousand and the trail stretches for about twenty five kilometers from the start of the herd. After all these years the herds have grown much smaller , although the pace that the journey takes place at is not changed even a bit. If the caravans stay on the same ridge as the sand then they are flowing the right path. Because the principal was followed quite rigidly before, trade seemed to prosper.

Once the climb over the dunes has been done ,the pace then remains constant. The caravans don’t stop their journey right from dawn till about dusk, and everyday an average of fifty ki9lo meters is covered.

At night the bags are unloaded off the camels and they have break. The tea cups quickly come out being served along with supper.

Over the years this genre of traditional journeying has been dying out however efforts are being taken to revive the spirit of the caravans traveling across the desert.

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