Pan, the Tuareg are the eternal enemy...why do you have them listed here?panafrica said:The men in blue of the desert are the infamous Tuareg. These legendary fighters -- known for their skill with the sword -- live mostly in the Northern reaches of Mali near Timbuktu and Kidal. Tuaregs originally controlled the caravan routes that brought salt to the south from the desert salt mines, but air transport has made the business less profitable in recent years. Tuareg's are very proud people with an ancient written language and traditions of poetry. Their nomadic roots have made it difficult for them to accept Malian borders, and they fiercely resisted statehood of their desert home. Only recently have the Tuaregs and the Malian government reached an agreement, and now many Tuaregs are employed in government services. Traditional Tuareg men are 'veiled' to mark their transition from adolescence. The thick helmet of cloth around their heads is never removed in the presence of anyone, and is worn even while sleeping and eating. The indigo with which they dye their robes rubs off of their skin, giving them the title 'blue men of the desert'. The sword is a Tuareg's most valued possession. Many are passed from generation to generation and said to be protected by the victories of its past owners.