Tuareg on their dromedaries


The Sahara • Historic Survey • The Tuareg people The Tuareg Woman Some Dates


Historic survey


he Ahaggar is populated by Berber tribes, Imuhar (Tuareg) or Kel Ahaggar or Kel Tamahaq. The Tuareg are called Imuhar and in Tamahaq this means to be free and independent.
The oral tradition, transmitted several myths and legends to us relating to the origin of the various tribes of the Ahaggar.. Indeed, the Tuareg organized in tribes at the first millennium before the Christian era, formed principalities controlled by Tin Hinan, which carried the title of Queen.
With the Neolithic era the Ahaggar was inhabited by black sedentaries (originating in High-Egypt) practitioning the cattle breeding and by white populations Libico-Berbers. This is the era of the pastors which manifests itself from the IV millennium till the historical period (at the end of the Neolithic era, the transition was very fast in areas of the central Sahara which know an evolution fulgurating in the social life, morals, art…)
To indicate themselves, these wandering pastors of the central Sahara, like all the Berber ones, use the term Amaher/Imûhar, with the multiple dialectal alternatives: Amajer, Amacer, Amazir... which one can follow since Antiquity: The Targui / Tuareg name, of Arab form, seems to come from the word Targa (laughs, channel of watering, garden...) which indicated in the past Fezzan from where several Tuareg groups came.
The Tuareg of Ahaggar occupy a place privileged in the Western and Maghrebian old literature. Their name, attested since the early middle ages, is quoted by the first Arab authors (with a localization and an extension who overflows of much those of today); according to Ibn Khaldûn (Berberhistory): "At the beginning of the Arab conquest, the group of Hawwara lived in the area of Tripoli and Barqa, as Al-Farmhouses udi and Al-Bakri bring it back. These tribes were either sedentary, or wandering. Some of them crossed sands to penetrate in full desert. They were established at Lamta, which are mulattemîn, i.e. buckled men of the taguelmoust, vestimentary characteristic that struck the imagination of the travellers much.
Kel-Ahaggar modern are thus an extreme appendix of this great whole of Hawwâra population (into Berber: Ihawwâren, Ihaggâren)
Kel-Ahaggar contributed to mark the history of the relations between the slope Mediterranean of the Sahara and the slope sahélien and tropical of West Africa.
The Tuareg of Ahaggar were among the first with Kel-Ajjer to make stopping with the Trans-Saharan projects of trade of the colonial powers at the end of the XIXème century. This making, they were affirmed like frightening adversaries, but also offered a certain "chivalrous" image of the Sahara, savage and proud warriors, singing the war and the love among the players of the imzad (violin monocorde), being damaged in passion for the eyes of the gazelle and the turned blue temples of indigo of the good liked: Young people of the mounts of Ahaggar are solid, It is by pushing the cry "tiî-î" that they attack the enemy. They drink in their tent the sound of the violin. (Foucauld, Poetries, No 79)

The Sahara • Historic Survey • The Tuareg people The Tuareg Woman Some Dates

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