Photographer's Note

The Tuareg are a smaller population consisting of only 1 million, but cover six countries in Africa. It covers a large part in southern Algeria and circled through central Mali, Burkina Faso, the very northern tip of Benin, Nigeria and half of Niger.
The Tuareg are known for their men's practice of veiling the face with a blue, indigo-dyed cloth. In the Sahara Desert, where most of them reside, they are known as the "Blue Men." The Tuareg men's face-veil has several different meanings. It shows the male gender role identity and shows that he respects and reserves the cultural values of the Tuareg. It protects them from evil spirit that enters through bodily openings. The face-veil is also attractive to the women and has many different styles. It covers the nose and mouth. Women do not wear the face-veils, they wear a head-scarf which only covers her hair after she is married to show that she is married and can no longer be loved by any other man. There are a variety of styles from tie-dyed to plain cotton.
They are a proud race of people, famous for their fighting abilities and artwork. Many Tuareg have migrated to rural and urban areas farther south to avoid the droughts and natural disasters, which brought on the famine in the southern part of Algeria (from G. L. Timothy "Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life.")

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Additional Photos by Ecmel Erlat (ecmel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 0 N: 262] (1782)
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