Traditionally, Tuareg social stratification guaranteed that power to make economic decisions remained in the hands of a few. Women enjoy respect and freedom, and descent and inheritance are through the female line. The Tuareg came to prominence as stockbreeders and caravanners in the Saharan and Sahelian regions at the beginning of the fourteenth century, when trade routes to the lucrative salt, gold, ivory, and slave markets in North Africa, , and the sprang up across Tuareg territory. On some oases, nobles still theoretically have rights to dates from date palms within gardens of former slaves, but nowadays the former slaves refuse to fetch them, obliging nobles to climb the trees and collect the dates themselves. A woman may, however, indirectly participate in the caravan trade by sending her camels with a male relative, who returns with goods for her. Temperatures range from 4 ° C at night in the brief cold season, from December to March, upward to 54 ° C during the day in the hot season.
These matrilineally based social institutions, manifested in inheritance and descent, mythology and ritual, counterbalance more recent Islamic elements in the culture. On oases, crops include millet, barley, wheat, maize, onions, tomatoes, and dates. From United Kingdom to U. Author by : David L. The Tuareg celebrate Ganni also called Mouloud , the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, with special sacred and secular songs and camel races. Certain conditions are needed to achieve a contract with the Kel Essuf, and this mediation between the spirits and humans affects human social relationships. Marabouts are believed to possess special powers of benediction, al baraka.
The E-mail message field is required. In the towns, the diet is slightly more varied. Inversion and other tropes in spirit possession rituals --- 3. They must approach the Kel Essuf in order to tame them, but they risk the perils of falling into an abyss. Baier, Stephen, and Paul Lovejoy 1977. For example, local tradition did not require female chastity before marriage.
It is therefore important to gain an understanding of this practice in its cultural context before trying to develop a wider theory about it. The total Tuareg population has been estimated at about 1 million. This strategy was important politically and religiously in a region with many sacred tombs and shrines, where many clans claimed descent from the Prophet Muhammed, and where prominent male marabouts were highly respected and influential. However, many individuals marry close relatives only to please their mothers. In the early 1990s they returned to their homes and demanded autonomy. Each compound is named for the married woman who owns the tent.
She never convinced others of a spirit pact or diviner skills, primarily because she broke the sexual mores of her community by giving birth to several illegitimate children and displaying her lack of reserve and dignity, an important Tuareg culture value. One woman, who was frequently possessed by spirits and who aspired to become a diviner, failed to parlay her affliction into a mediumship. McElhinney Hall, Room 258-A 713-743-3787 Biography Susan Rasmussen, Professor of Anthropology within the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston, has conducted field research in rural and urban Tuareg Kel Tamajaq communities of northern Niger and Mali and among African immigrants in France. In the towns, both these patterns are breaking down. This website is dedicated to the hundreds and thousands of Tuareg men, women, and children, including many whole families, who have suffered and died over the past several decades, as a result of the deliberate exclusionary practicesthat have deprived the Tuaregs of critically needed food relief, medical care , and development. The authors show the diversity of possible interpretations and methodological approaches that provide a new insight into the understanding of possession and trance. Tempe: Arizona State University Anthropological Research Papers 44.
Pasturelands have been diminishing, and, consequently, livestock herds are shrinking. Among the Tuareg people in the Air Mountain region of Niger, women are sometimes possessed by spirits called 'the people of solitude'. The former clients and slaves now simply owe hospitality to their former masters. From United Kingdom to U. It is believed that the future may be foretold by sleeping on graves.
Some Tuareg have been forced into refugee camps in neighboring countries e. There are numerous dialects of Tamacheq, a language of the Berber Family. Art, Agency, and Power in the Ritual Sessions: 5. These values are important since resources are often scarce and uncertain. The confederation was then under the direct suzerainary of the , lord of the Kel Owey. Essential reading for anyone who is presented with the problem of identifying and dealing with negative spirit influence, whether they are a health professional, a service user or a research scientist, this book presents a complementary approach that is built upon the theoretical concepts and experimental methods of Frederic Myers, together with modern research findings in quantum theory and neuro-imaging. Very few Tuareg attend universities.
A few Tuareg have emigrated to. Only Women Know Trees: Medicine Women and the Role of Herbal Healing in Tuareg Culture. Along the Niger River, some fish are caught and added to the diet. On these days, there are camel races and feasting in the countryside, and parades and speeches in the towns. After independence and the establishment of nation-states in the region in the early 1960s, the Tuareg continued to lose economic strength and political power. Those Who Touch: Tuareg Medicine Women in Anthropological Perspective. The local belief system, with its own cosmology and ritual, interweaves and overlaps with Islam rather than standing in opposition to it.