National Geographic : 1965 Nov
move together when we go on. I find myself wish ing the caravaneers had their families with them. I like the Tuareg encampments, changed every month as the nomads move in search of new pasture. I like the children, although at first they fear me and run away. I am struck by the beauty and grace of the women, open and friendly and not oppressed by their husbands as Arab wives seem to be. I like the Tuareg eagerness to learn of my strange customs, and their willingness to explain their own ways-all in an atmosphere of open-mindedness and good humor. More Camels, More Ticks "We have heard that in your country," once said a man whose tea I was sharing, "men descend to pressing their lips against those of their wives. Is this true?" "Is it true," I retorted, "that Tuareg men descend to exchanging sniffs of the noses with their wives?" We stared at each other a moment, and then burst into laughter. The day we leave Fachi we count at least 200 camels. I cannot say the increase improves matters for us. There are more animals to look after. More camels mean more camel ticks. The ticks leave the camels and come to me at night, crawling and biting. I do not get much sleep, KODACHROMES( ) N.G.S. Carrying all she owns, a Tuareg woman, her children, and servants seek fresh pas ture for their livestock. Each month her camp of nine families moves a few miles, always within its tribal area near Abalak well. Her husband may have to search for his new home when he returns from a long caravan journey. Here in southern Niger, Tuareg women and children wear as little clothing as their Negro neighbors. Author Victor Englebert controls a sad dle camel with his foot and a single rope. Long a student of Africa, the Belgian writer photographer learned the language and cus toms of the Tuareg and lived among them as a Blue Man.