The Tuareg inhabit the Saharan regions of North Africa - Niger, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Burkina Faso. Tuareg is an Arabic term meaning abandoned by God. They call themselves Imohag, translated as free men. No one knows the true origin of the Tuareg, where they came from or when they arrived in the Sahara. Reputedly of Berber descent, the language of the Tuareg is Tamachek, with their own script known as Tifinagh, thought to have ancient Libyan roots. Their numbers are unclear, but estimates run between 300,000 and 1 million. The Tuareg were recorded by the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th Century BC.
The most striking attribute of the Tuareg is the indigo veil, worn by the men but not the women, giving rise to the popular name the Blue Men of the Sahara, or Men of the Veil. Men begin wearing a veil at the age 25.
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