Who are the Tuareg? The Art of Being Tuareg An Inadan Family Early Contact, Early Collecting Art in an Environment of Contrasts The Sahara Tuareg is a Globalized Marketplace Home
The Sahara was once an immense inland sea. Several millennia ago it dried up, becoming a vast and fertile plain capable of sustaining giraffes, elephants, and antelopes, as well as pastoralists with large herds of cattle. Around 2500 B.C.E., however, the Sahara underwent another major ecological shift that ultimately transformed it into the world's largest desert. Not primarily a sand desert, the Sahara is characterized by numerous mountains, vast rock plains dotted with oases and dry riverbeds, and sand seas consisting of immense dunes. Introduction of the one-humped Arabian camel  (Camelus dromedarius) to the region around the first millennium B.C.E. made trade across the Sahara possible. Early traders and explorers traveling to the central Sahara encountered the Tuareg, a people who had learned the
art of surviving in this forbidding region. Freedom for the Tuareg depends on mastery of the desert and reliance on an extended family. Whether riding a camel or driving a 4 x 4 vehicle
guided by a global positioning system, the Tuareg experience freedom when they can go wherever they please, whenever they please, without a thought about national borders, passports or interference from others. For the Tuareg, the Sahara is their home.


Tent Poles (ehel)

Camel saddle