Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World.
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The Tuareg peoples of the central Sahara inhabit one of the harshest environments in the world and have fascinated travelers and scholars throughout history. Their elegance and beauty; their dress and exquisite ornament; their large white riding camels; their ability to repel foreign invaders; their refined song, speech and dance have all been the subjects of rhapsodic descriptions. These accounts have, however, tended to shroud the Tuareg in a veil of mystery. By looking beyond the myths that have enveloped the Tuareg, it becomes possible to delineate and celebrate the distinct aesthetic qualities that inform their lives.

The Art of Being Tuareg presents Tuareg art forms in the diverse contexts in which they existed in the past and continue in the present, from desert dwellings and the homes of urban inadan (visual artists) to international museums and Parisian houses of haute couture. Together, the works of art on view define Tuareg identity as it has persisted and changed throughout time.

Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World was organized by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Major support was provided by C. Diane Christensen and Karen Christensen. Support to the Cantor Arts Center came from the Halperin Director's Discretionary Fund, the Bill and Jean Lane Fund, and the Phyllis C. Wattis Program Fund. Additional generous support to the Fowler Museum was provided by the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director's Discretionary Fund and the Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles.

Photo Credits
1 - 2 by Elhadji Koumama, 2006
3 - 4 - 5 by Ann Elston, 2006