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Meet the Tuareg
Enter the Sahara!
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The Tuareg are the Blue Men of the Sahara, so-called for the deep indigo dyes used in their robes.  The men are veiled but the women are not.  They have always been shrouded in mystery and myth, feared by all who entered their lands.

Their society was matriarchal, their women independent and full of fire. Nobility passed through the motherís line, not the fatherís. They had their own written language. Their culture was feudalistic, with nobles, vassals, and slaves. They shunned modern weapons of war, preferring the honor of individual combat with sword, dagger, and shield. They were a race of poets and romantics, who ruled with a harsh desert code of honor.

For centuries the nomadic Tuareg were undisputed kings of the desert, lords of the great caravan routes along which flowed salt, slaves, and gold.

In the 1880s, these medieval warriors humbled the nation of France, which foolishly sought to put a railroad through the heart of the great Sahara.  But if the railroad was doomed, so too was the Tuareg civilization, eventually crushed by the 20th century.  Colonization and nationalization took from the Tuareg the very things that once made them kings -- their land, their freedom to move, their slaves.

Today their life, like the desert in which they dwell, retains a terrible and stark beauty.  Their existence is one of poverty and drought, their heritage lost dreams.  But if their women are still strong and their men still proud, if they are still a race of poets and romantics, they now cast but a small shadow of their former magnificence.  Yet they remain unbowed, among the more noble and spirited people of the earth.