THE TUAREG SALT CARAVANS OF NIGER AFRICA BY FRANCO PAOLINELLI

CARAVANS OF SALT - TUAREG TRADE ROUTES IN NIGER

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Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa
Shoots from the Doum palm - 'tagait' are often bought and resold profitably
The huge market of Talata Mafara near Sokoto, northern Nigeria
With the naira's devaluation and increasing bureaucracy, the salt caravans of the Tuareg tend not to enter Nigeria so much. Once salt is sold and millet purchased, the Tuareg may seek out transport or haulage jobs - conveying goods from village to village.
 
In the past, the transport of ground nuts was a routine occupation for the Tuareg, but today, it is no longer profitable. Now is the time to buy presents for wives and families, as well as footwear and clothes. Then, towards the late spring, just before summer the rains fall, the caravan returns home.
 
Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa
Even when caravans don't enter Nigeria, Tuareg still visit Kano,
Caravaneer examines a pair of sandals in the market
Buying millet from a Hausa family near the border with Nigeria
 
Above Photographs. Even when caravans don't enter Nigeria, Tuareg still visit Kano, where the 'alecho' is manufactured, by public transport. The 'alecho' - a traditional indigo head veil is a prized possession, only worn during ceremonies and special events. He may also buy for family and friends. Caravaneer examines a pair of sandals in the market. Most commodities are cheaper in the south. Buying millet from a Hausa family near the border with Nigeria. Millet forms the staple diet for the caravaneer's family, and any surplus is bartered for dates in Bilma the following season.
 
Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa Tuareg Salt Caravans Niger Africa
A young man applies eye-liner with the carbon rod of a discarded battery
Talata Mafara - close of market. With constant devaluation of the naira
Goatskin sacks - 'amital' are now refilled with millet
Similar straw mats - 'shereben' as for protecting salt pillars are now used for millet sacks
 
Above Photographs. A young man applies eye-liner with the carbon rod of a discarded battery. As with many African cultures, facial adornment may be practised by both sexes. Talata Mafara - close of market. With constant devaluation of the naira and growing bureaucracy, Tuareg don't enter Nigeria as much. One advantage, however, is that pillars can be sold in bulk to salt dealers. Goatskin sacks - 'amital' are now refilled with millet. Similar straw mats - 'shereben' as for protecting salt pillars are now used for millet sacks.
 

FRANCO PAOLINELLI

 
The Bradshaw Foundation would like to thank Franco Paolinelli for his text & photographs used to publish this section of the Bradshaw Foundation website.
 

THE TUAREG

 
More information on the Tuareg is covered in the Bradshaw Foundation website section - The Tuareg of the African Sahara (The Nomadic Inhabitants of North Africa) and in the Africa Rock Art Archive.
 
 
Tuareg of the African Sahara
Africa Rock Art Archive
 
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