A Semi Nomadic Pastoralist Culture Essay examples

2071 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
A semi-nomadic pastoralist culture in the middle of modern, Westernizing Africa, is an ethnic group called the Tuareg. Though diverse and living in separate communities speckled throughout Algeria, Mali, and Niger, the Tuareg are united by their shared language and proud history. They were expert traders and formidable warriors, raiding and conquering to find the best land for the livestock, prior to the European colonization of Africa. For the Tuareg, it was the French that proved too formidable. The Tuareg were one of the last groups to be colonized, but their swords could not hold off the French guns forever. After large casualties on both sides of the conflict, it finally ended with the signing of a treaty in the late 19th century (Keita 1998). However, though the violence ended, the troubles of the Tuareg did not. Due to their fierce reputation, and with the French having the casualties to prove it, the Tuareg were severely marginalized under French colonial rule. There were restrictions placed on nomadism, placing the Tuareg way of life at risk. Their labour was exploited, they were taxed half to death, and they were even denied an education. The Tuareg organized several uprisings following the newly-gained independence of Mali and Niger in the 1960s when they found that their position did not improve, even when the French pulled out. The first president of Mali, Modibo Keita, strived towards industrialization and agriculture. He believed that nomadism was a cancer…

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