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The Grassfields of Cameroon



The Land
- The Great Sahara Desert
- The Biggest Desert
- Blown Dry
- More than Sand Dunes
- Window to the Past
- The Tuareg
  - Introduction
  - Traditional life
  - Camels
  - Salt
  - Oasis
  - Clothing
  - Women
  - Writing and song
- Two ways to count to 10

Traditional Tuareg life is based on livestock

Besides keeping camels, nomadic Tuareg maintain herds of goats, sheep and donkeys. Men are usually responsible for camels; women and children care for the other animals. Camels provide drinking milk; goats provide meat, drinking milk and milk for cheese.

Nomadic Tuareg still use their camels on desert caravans, though some now use trucks. Before the mid19OOs, the Tuareg provided protection for caravans, raided neighboring towns and use slave labor to work their farms and herds.

Houses are the graves of the living.

The Tuareg proverb above tells how much these nomadic people love desert life. Once the Tuareg owned much of the Sahara. Today boundaries between nations may prevent them from getting the water and pastureland they need to survive.

Before the 1940's, the Tuareg took the people of neighboring nations as slaves. Today some nomadic Tuareg are being forced to live among these same people as refugees from drought. While some Tuareg adjust to urban life or farming, others dream of nomadic desert life.


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