They are commonly known as a Berber-speaking pastoralist and matrilineal society of the Sahara. They are also known in travel literature as the "veiled blue men of the Sahara." However, during the last four decades, the number of pastoralists has drastically declined, and those who still practice pastoralism can hardly be called pastoralists in the strict sense of the word. Because of recurrent and devastating droughts, in association with postcolonial policies of governments in the region, Tuareg have been forced to adapt to new rural and urban livelihood-making strategies. Over the past four decades, they have also undergone radical social and political change.
   The Tuareg are found in a large area between 14 and 30 degrees north and 5 degrees west and 10 degrees east, centered in southern Algeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Fasso, southwestern Libya, and a few other peripheral areas. The Kel Ahaggar and Kel Ajjer are called the Northern Tuareg, while the remaining groups constitute the Southern Tuareg. Reliable figures on the precise population distribution of the Tuareg are not available. However, the entire Tuareg population is estimated at over 3.5 million: 800,000 in Niger; 600,000 in Mali; 140,000 in Algeria, including refugees from Mali and Niger; 30,000 to 40,000 in Burkina Faso; and 20,000 to 30,000 in Libya; the reminder are in El Fasher, Darfur, Sudan, and in Kano, Katsina, northern Nigeria, and overseas.
   The meaning of the word "Tuareg" produces considerable confusion, particularly as the Tuareg do not in fact name themselves by this term. The word is an external labeling and not an indigenous system of classification. The word "Tuareg" has Arabic roots (Tarqi; pl. tawariq), meaning those who are abandoned by Allah (God), because for a long time the Tuareg refused to accept the religion of the Arabs: Islam. They refer to themselves as Imuhag (raiders-nobles), and the term Imuhag is used to designate anyone whose language is Tamahak, precluding Izeggaghen and other vassals whose mother tongue is not Tamahak. Among the Berber languages, a particular language or dialect is usually designated by the feminine form of the name of the people who speak it-so that, for instance, the Imuhag of Ahaggar call their language Tamahak, the Imajeghen of Aïr call their language Tamajek, and Tuareg groups designate themselves as Kel Tamasheq, meaning literally "speakers of Tamasheq," and identify themselves with the term Temust, meaning "nation" in Tamasheq. Tamasheq is related to Tifinagh-the ancient Libyan language whose evidence is provided by inscriptions on ancient rock paintings in the central Sahara.
   Tuareg societies are characterized by their rigid social stratification systems. In its classic formation, the basic division is between "nobles" (Imajeghen), vassals (Imghad, Ineslemen, and Isherifen), servants (Izeggaghen and Ineden), and slaves (Iklan). The nobles made up a warrior aristocracy. Through their possession of camels and their rights over arms, they controlled the means of physical force, the ultimate sanction of their political hegemony. The main institutions through which the surplus labor of lower classes was appropriated and through which a set of economic activities and interests of these two classes was integrated within the entire economy were the relationships known as Tamazlayt and Tamekchit. On independence, these relationships have ceased to function in their traditional forms. In addition, the social organization of the nobility, in terms of succession, inheritance, residence, and group membership, is matrilineal, while that of the vassals is predominantly patrilineal. Politically, the Tuareg have never established a single politically united state or federation but comprise several major tribes or groups that seem to correspond to politically autonomous units or confederations (see the entries under Kel for details on various Tuareg groups). They founded a number of sultanates, such as that in Agadez in the 15th century. In 1770, the Tuareg conquered Gao and Timbuktu in Mali. With the advent of Arabs in North Africa, they converted to Islam and were devoted followers of the Sanusiyya religious order, which led a jihad against French rule in the region.
   With the approach of independence in North and West Africa, several key Tuareg political figures in Mali and Niger attempted to form a federation separate from the political control of the "black south." In Mali and Niger, they have been repressed, and incidents of unrest and rebellions have been common. Roots of unrest and calls for self-determination go back to the rebellions of the Tuareg in Mali in 1980s.
   See also Droughts; Tuareg Rebellions.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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  • tuareg — ‘De cierta tribu nómada bereber del Sáhara’. Referido a persona, se emplea frecuentemente como sustantivo. Su plural es tuaregs (→ plural, 1h). No debe usarse como invariable (→ plural, 2.2): ⊕ los tuareg …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Tuareg — [twä′reg΄] n. [< Ar tawārig, pl. of targwī: meaning unknown ] 1. pl. Tuaregs or Tuareg a member of a Berber people of the W and central Sahara 2. the variety of Berber spoken by this people …   English World dictionary

  • Tuareg — (Tuarik, Singular Targi), wichtigster Berberstamm der Sahara, der sich selbst Imoscharh (Imuharh, Imazirhen) nennt. Zwischen Atlas (N.) und Niger (S.) sowie den maurischen Stämmen (W.) und den Tibbu (O.) wohnen sie vornehmlich in den Oasen Tuat,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tuareg — (Einzahl Targi, Tergi), die Bewohner der mittlern Sahara, zu den Berbern gehörig, Mohammedaner, etwa 300.000 Köpfe, mit eigener Sprache (Tamaschek). – Vgl. Bissuel (franz., 1888), Fermé (franz., 1900), Dex (franz., 1901), Köhler (1904); Grammatik …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • tuareg — tuarég (tu a ) adj. m., s. m., pl. tuarégi; adj. f., s. f. tuarégă, pl. tuarége Trimis de gall, 09.06.2008. Sursa: DOOM 2 …   Dicționar Român

  • tuareg — 1. adj. Se dice del individuo de un pueblo bereber nómada del Sahara. U. t. c. s.) 2. Perteneciente o relativo a este pueblo …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Tuareg — Infobox Ethnic group group=Tuareg poptime=1.2 million [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6982266.stm] popplace=flag|Niger: 720,000 (1998) flag|Mali: 440,000 (1991) flag|Algeria: 25,000 (1987) flag|Burkina Faso: 60,000 (1991) flag|Libya: 17,000… …   Wikipedia

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  • Tuareg — Para el modelo de automóvil, véase Volkswagen Touareg. Tuareg Imuhagh Población total 1.200.000 Idioma lenguas tamahaq tamasheg (ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵥⵉⵖⵜ): tamasheg, tamajeq, tamahaq. Religión Islam sincrético …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tuareg — Tu|a|reg I 〈Pl.; Sg.: Targi〉 die Angehörigen eines berber. Volkes in der westl. Sahara II 〈n.; ; unz.〉 zu den hamit. Sprachen gehörende Sprache der Tuareg * * * Tu|a|reg [auch: tu̯a rɛk ] <Pl. v. ↑ Targi: Berber in den Gebirgen der westlichen… …   Universal-Lexikon

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