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Chapter

Feeding Desire Chp 1&2


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings

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Feeding Desire
Chapter 1
The structure of the Azawagh Arab society is dysfunctional. Females are forced to be
fattened, they believe fattening is a form of beauty, and the society believes they are
the most unique of mankind because they are the decedents of Prophet Mohammad
(PBUH).
West Africa lies the Azawagh of Niger
The Azawagh
Heavy braids make up the stiff hairstyles of Arab women
The windswept corner of Niger is today home to a patchwork of distinct ethnic
groups, comprising a metropolitan desert world of different languages customs
Dominant ethnic group in the region has been the Tuareg, silver-bejewelled women
have appeared in the movies like the Sheltering Sky and Beau Geste
Slave caste known as the Bouzou, who are a populous ethnic group in their own right
Cattle-raising, nomadic Wodaabe Fulnai
The Wodaabe, became Muslim only recently
Hausa and Zarma, sub-Saharan black groups that dominate Niger politically and
numerically, arrived in the north as civil servants, government officials, and traders
The Azawagh has known fighting the violent French colonization of the Tuareg at
the start of the twentieth century
The Azawagh Arabs of Niger are concentrated in the north of the region
Their de facto capital is the village of Tassara
Tassara and Tchin Tabaraden came into being only in the last fifty years and are the
products of outside intervention, not indigenous settlement alone
Tchin was established by the French in the middle of the century
Who are the Azawagh Arabs?
Western parts of the Sahara desert known most commonly as for West as moors
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society coalesced between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in the north
western regions of the Sahara out of the mingling and intermarriages among local
Berbers
They speak a form of Arabic they call Galgaliyya
Economy based on herding and trade, a caste like social structure that leaves much
hard labour to former slaves, and many similarities of dress, poetry, ritual practices,
and, not least, bodily ideals
Azawagh Arabs are the same people as the Moors of Mauritania
Moor is of European derivation
The term also has a long history of European usage to refer to Berber and Arab
peoples of other times and places, for example the Moor invasion of Spain and
Othello the Moor, where it means Berber North Africans
Azawagh Arabs are three main castes:
oThe white or free Arabs
o The former slave caste, called Haratin
o The small artisan caste, also called blacksmiths
The hierarchy of these castes is imagined in terms of skin color
The white Arabs lived in the center and at the southern end
Peace Corps prelude: Tchin Tabaraden
Tchin Tabaraden, a town of about 5000 people
Sprawling, dusty place at the end of a long gravel road,
Tchin Tabaraden consists of a grid of sandy laneslined by adobe walls
Fieldwork: Tassara
Religious leader (qadi) chief (sultan)
Westerners (nesrani)
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