By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey
Publication through Grieg, Charlotte
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Silver, the color of the moon, represents the female essence of life and is worn by women in the form Timbuktu: City of the Desert The city of Timbuktu (or Tombouktou) has a fascinating history as a trading center and also, from the 15th century, as a center of Islamic religion. The Tuareg, a tribe of nomads who are a branch of the Berber people, founded it. A remote place situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert, it was important in ancient times as a stopping place for caravans of camels and traders crossing the desert.
Girls of marriageable age wear longer skirts and turbans; married women are expected to cover their breasts and wear a bigger head wrap. The bigger and more elaborate the head wrap, the higher the woman’s status in the tribe. Ndebele Beadwork The Ndebele, another Nguni people, are renowned for their beautiful beadwork, which is quite different in style from that of the other tribes of South Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders ﬁrst brought glass beads to the region, and since then, the Ndebele have used beads in brilliant, geometric designs to decorate their traditional costumes.
For men, Arabic turbans and robes are commonly worn. Tuareg men are particularly recognizable by their indigo-dyed, dark-blue clothing and the glittering indigo veil they always wear over the lower half of their faces. Fulani Beauty Parades The Fulani are a tribe that can be found all over West Africa, primarily in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, and Niger. Originally, they were a pastoral people who herded cattle, but over the centuries, they adopted other ways of life, settling on the land and farming, or working in towns.
Africa (Cultures and Costumes) by Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey