As I was reading one of Gigi’s books Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, I was surprised and tickled by one entry about the Tuareg people. I was so taken with this practice, that I’ve incorporated some of the ritual practices in a performance piece that I’m writing about women.
Check it out:
A beautiful Tuareg (twah-reg) singer sits in front of a tent playing a musical instrument with one string. As the sun sets in the desert sky, she sings in a high voice while Tuareg men sit on the ground and pass around a bowl of milk. They lift their veils to sip. This is ahal, a Tuareg party. The Tuaregs are called “the people of the veil,” but only the men wear veils. When ahal breaks into small groups, the women will do most of the talking. The men will peer over their veils, listening with great respect to the poetry and stories of the women.
-- from Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgove, 1976, The Dial Press, New York
To read more about the Tuareg people, visit the Bradshaw Foundation