Fulani, Tuareg, Woodabe Photos

topic posted Wed, August 17, 2005 - 10:06 AM by  Unsubscribed
These posts about the crisis in Africa relate to this tribe in a number of ways:

1) Yoga: These tribal people need help... consideration and non-violence is AHIMSA... if we see pain and do nothing, that is violence. Maybe this is an extreme viewpoint, but it's the way I feel...

2) Art: As lovers of adornment and beauty we must safeguard these tribal arts and the people who continue the traditions.

3) Dance: this is a cause we can all get behind! This is a reason to dance! Create a hafla! Post photos from Africa Adorned all over the room! Donate your tips! Gather your friends! LET'S GET IT DONE!

4) The Indigo: This company takes it's name from the Indigo dye that's used by the Tuareg people among others, and we've been GREATLY influenced by the arts of these people.

I know you may feel you don't have cash, but think of it this way: your electric bill will be late. Their BABY will be dead. The goat which gives milk to feed the whole tribe will DIE... Their way of life and folk arts will DIE. Which is more final?

Their entire way of LIFE is at risk, and the apathy of the world ushers it on...
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  • I was JUST talking to my mom about the Tuareg last night... They are one of the few North African tribes who practice Islam AND raise their women to be strong and empowered. If I remember correctly (it's been a WHILE since I've done any research on them), when one tribeswoman is about to give birth, the women of the tribe hold a gathering to name the baby and to WRESTLE each other to show how strong they are. The wrestling is a tradition that hearkens (harkens?) back to their pagan, pre-Islamic days, but they refused to give it up after they converted. I'll have to dig up the project that I did on them a while back. I may also have this completely wrong, but I remember just being totally fascinated by their culture....
    • I think this is fantastic! And the sooner everyone on this planet starts thinking of the world as one big Tribe, the better. We need to take care of each other, because we all need the same things, and we all feel the same pain.

      I saw the Dalai Lama speak last summer - he gave a talk on the Universal Responsibility for Compassion that really struck me. As soon as we stop this "every man for himself" attitude that we have and start thinking outside our own borders, the sooner there will be hope for the continuation of such fragile cultures as these. We have to see humanity as our community, not just our families, or our countrymen. Our community is the world, and much of the community is in danger. Compassion is not just a good deed, it is our duty to each other.
    • "MARADI, Niger, 1 August 2005 – Her face distraught, her gaunt body sweating in the midday heat, Indo arrives at a UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding centre in this community in southern Niger. Indo is carrying her 21-month old baby girl, Salima, in her arms.

      Salima’s arms and legs hang limply, her spine and ribs protruding prominently under her skin. She has barely enough energy to nurse at her mother’s breast for a few seconds before her heads falls back over her shoulders, her eyes closed.

      “It’s been two years that we’ve not been able to grow anything,” says Indo. “It’s because there’s been no rain. We have no food anymore.”

      Indo is 28. Her face plainly shows the stress and exhaustion she is struggling with, having walked alone for two days straight from her village, Koumaji, to Maradi. She carried Salima in her arms the whole way, a distance of 35 km, in the relentless sun. They had nothing to eat on the way.

      Salima is the youngest and the weakest of Indo’s five children. “I have left my other children at home with my mother,” says Indo. “My mother is old and weak but she will have to take care of them. I don’t know how long we’ll have to be here. I think Salima is very sick.”

      It’s not Salima’s first time to Maradi. Indo brought her here six months ago, when Salima was even weaker than she is now. The food crisis in Niger has been going on for some time, affecting hundreds of thousands of children like Salima.

      “The only thing I can give her is some millet porridge, maybe one or two times a day. There’s no milk. It’s not enough. I’m scared for Salima,” Indo says, her voice breaking.

      A few minutes later, Salima is weighed, her mid-upper arm circumference measured and her height taken on a measuring board. Everything is recorded on her chart, although Salima is oblivious to it all.

      But it seems that she has arrived in time. Salima is now getting the care and assistance she needs at this overworked therapeutic feeding centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The centre is filled with hundreds of other children, many of whom were in even worse condition than Salima when they arrived. The children here are fortunate: They are now on the road to recovering from severe malnutrition." (from

      UNICEF provides 31 therapeutic feeding centers and outreach feeding centers in Niger with food, milk and essential drugs and supplies.
      You can make a difference for children!
      • Unsu...
        Unicef have just confirmed the donation from my VISA has been accepted :o)
        Was feeling a teensy bit low today...that's what you get for being without your mahn for almost 3 months...knwoing I would see him in one week has been keeping me going, but you know what? I feel happier now Ive done this.
        Thanks Rachel.
        By the way....The offer is still open for an Irish hafla for those dying in niger....I've done donations etc, but I want the irish in this tribe to come together and do something...anything!! Please contact me and let me know if you are interested...I'm in Cork but willing to travel!!
        • Although it's a few months away myself and some girls in my class are putting on a student showcase event in Reading (UK) in the new year. We are charging nominal ticket prices mainly just to cover costs but I think any left over should go to this cause, I may stick a collection box somewhere too.

          If you don't get anything in Ireland you're welcome to come and strut your stuff in Reading.
          • My BD classes are held at an African Cultural Center where I live...last Xmas our winter show was to benefit Sudan - I think the owners of the studio would love to do a benefit for Niger. Time to start planning!!
      • Unsu...
        Aw, girl, THANK YOU for posting.

        Yes the Tuareg are an interesting people. Their gender roles are reversed... the men are Veiled, the women are not.

        In Woodabe culture, the women have the dough, can take on mulitple lovers, and the men spend all day putting on make up and getting dressed up for the rich ladies.

        Well, they did... before the famine.
        • This is really inspiring...since the organisation of our dance troupe's annual show in November just has begun, I mailed the organisers the idea to make it a benefit event and donate a certain amount for every sold ticket or something...last year, over 300 people joined that event...I wonder why no one from our troupe had the thought for helping before?

          Thank you so much, Rachel, for pointing this topic out right now!!!

          blessed be, patricia
        • Yep the gender roles are quite reversed, and in positive ways as well as those that are considered traditionally female events such as the 'beauty contest.' The beauty contest in the Woodabe photos are in fact men, not women.

          Quite interesting for sure. :)
  • There's a very small dance community where I live, so we have sponsored walks, which everybody loves doing. It's fun, healthy, and for a good cause. We usually walk on the Greenway, or in the Dales. We get sponsored to usually walk between 9-14 miles. I guess it's an alternative. We've tried Sing a thons and stuff, but I like the walks best.

    I remember doing something about their art for my Tribal Art project, and I created a little statue/carving thing in that style. They are soo brave too from what I learnt about them and how they live.
  • I have supported Doctors without borders, who are there now, trying
    to help out. Go to:
    That website is currently headlining the crisis in Niger. They have
    a very low overhead.
    I will be hosting a Tuareg jewelry fundraiser on Sept 10th.
    At: 2311 Mt Davidson Drive
    San Jose, CA 95124
    From 11:am to 6:pm.
    I posted a picture of Elhadji, a maker of beautiful Tuareg jewelry on this
    site. All of the money spent on his one of a kind hand made sterling silver
    jewelry will go directly to Niger to help his community out.
    The government has recentlly shut off the water to many in his village,
    Elhadji has used the money generated from jewelry sales at Rakkasah and
    Tribal Fest to have the water turned back on. Sadly, he has reported that
    many of the old and young have died. But it is not too late!!
    His lawyer, Ann, will be there showing the newest creations.
    Go check out his site to learn about Elhadji and his family.
    Hope to see many of you on the 10th for lovely jewelry and a good cause.
    • I will also be hosting Ann to show Elhadji's beautiful jewelry in Sacramento, CA on Sept. 8, 6-7pm, at the Deane Dance Center (McKinley Park area). Feel free to message me if you would like details. Thanks Terri for hooking us up!
      • Unsu...
        well, gonna try...may need to research and go through another organization, but they do need nurses. my bf said he would come with me and help! i would have to quit my job... i hope i can find a way...otherwise i think sending as much cash as i can spare is the best alternative.
        • Unsu...
          From the DWB website: first time missionaries can't bring spouses/SO's; the minimum time commitment is 12 - 18 months, from what I just read off their website (I was gonna see if they wanted paramedics but they don't). Unless you're a doctor, they only have to commit to 6 months.

          Some day I too will be in a position to volunteer as well (going to nursing school now), good luck to all of you who are able to!
          • I'm doing my rerequisites to start the nursing program next year. I would love to go forth and help these people after I graduate. My problem is that the VA is going to pay for my school and I have to work for them for a few years to pay that back. I could go sooner if I could find alternate nursing scholarships. Does anyone know if oxfam or ony of the other orgs has a branch for scholarships for nursing?
    • RE: Doctors Without Borders Fundraiser

      I don't see that this has been mentioned yet on this thread, so I'm gonna...
      LaRa of Devadasi has created and has for sale 2006 Tribal Fusion Calendars with **ALL** proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders...
      She had them for sale at Tribal Cafe this past weekend, and I think she has a few left.
      The calendars are gorgeous with photos of some of the most beautiful ladies in Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, our R.B. included. :)

      I bought 3 today... :)

      I can't find her original post/ad right now, but if you are interested and wish to send her a message, she is among my friends in my profile... Go on check 'em out!

      Thanks R.B. for bringing this to everyone's attention - and you are right, Belly Dancers **WILL** change the world - thanks to people like you, the members of this tribe, and of course the Magicadubeeeeeamu!

      • Here's the Tribal Fusion Calendar Info:

        2006 Tribal Fusion Bellydance Calendar!!!

        Including some of the biggest names in T.F.Bellydance

        Rachel Brice of The Indigo & Bellydance Superstars
        Frederique of BellyGroove
        Urban Tribal Dance Company
        Atash Maya
        Shawna Rai of Nayta Hara
        Kami Liddle
        Tribal Feat (CA & TX)
        Sherri formerly of UTDC
        Katie Kay & Monica Fernandez of Danger Sassy Pants

        As well as
        New and upcoming projects:
        Blue Damsel
        Tribal Union

        With ALL Proceeds Going To
        Doctors Without Borders

        Order Yours Today!!!

        ***$30 per copy***
        (includes shipping)

        Paypal Payments: to

        Money Orders/ Cashier’s Checks:
        Make payable to
        Lara Zorn
        6059 Lucretia Ave.
        Mira Loma, CA. 91752

        Include your full name and mailing address with payments!

  • Thank you, Rachel, for spurring us on. A few weeks ago I heard a news report on the crisis and talked about it in the office.... but got distracted by daily life and didn't do anything.

    Because of your post, they now have a donation from my family. It's not large, but it is heartfelt.

    Thank you for bringing out the best in us.

    - M
  • Oxfam won't take my donation :(
    I entered everything correctly. Dang computers.
    • It puts out a message that the transaction hasn't been made yet, You have to confirm it.
      • Alright, donation done. I really not been giving this issue my full concentration. My thoughts are on Maui and getting ready. Then the reality of everyone's words hit me... I will miss buying one over priced souvenier and a family will eat for days. Really put it into perspective for me so thanx.
        • Unsu...
          Belly Dancers are going to save the world. I think we can.
          • Unsu...
            No donations in 2.5 hours? The world's not saved yet, LETS GO!

            • OK. I'm in. I wish I could do more (single mom and all...) -- but you know, when I think about ALL the money I spend on classes, workshops (travel, accommodations...), costumes, gear, music...! It's quite considerable! Way more than I should be spending. God, it makes me feel guilty. As much as I beleive I DON'T have, I'm actually very lucky and blessed. Thanks Rachel, for opening my eyes.

              Blessings to you all, and may we never need.

              • Unsu...
                I know what you mean, but I feel pretty good about what we do right now. If it weren't for Tribal Belly Dance, I wouldn't have known who these tribes were, and wouldn't have been nearly as moved.

                I fell in love with the Tuareg years ago, and my house is filled with their images. This is because of Belly Dance, and all the $ I spent on classes supported the teachers of this art form. It's all good.

       you're blessed, and you donated. You are fortunate and sharing the fortune, what could be bad about that!?

  • K - I just sent a month of Suhaila classes.

    Come you guys - anyone on the fence about giving.....I know we all spend a lot on our dance classes - the least we can do is drill at home for a month and feed some families!!!
  • And for those of you not in the US - like me - there are local organisations you can make donations to to help. If you don't believe in sending money check if there are organisations who take food donations etc.

    I not only bellydance, but I work in export and this is "my" region. I feel connected in more than one way.

    Lots of drops make an ocean!
    • DEC is an organisation I give money to, it's the Disaster Emergency Comitte, and they're dealing with the Niger Crisis, so if you're in the UK there's another place you can donate to. The adverts are heart wrenching. Only £5 will get them salts to help the malunourished children.

      I would love to go out there and help, but being only 17 I'll have to wait a while.
  • just donated - I hope we all make a difference - you are a great catalyst Rachel, it is all too easy to do nothing. Perhaps it's because we all feel a little insignificant, like what's the point, my donation won't help a whole nation. Of course the bigger picture is that every thought, word and deed affects the whole planet.

    Maybe we could all send healing prayers, reiki, light etc to the region. I'm gonna get a map and focus on that.

    I believe in Masaru Emoto's research showing how water crystals physically change dependant on the thoughts that they are exposed to - see The Hidden Messages in Water - Masaru Emoto. Polluted water becomes pure and cleansed when given the messages 'love' and 'thanks'.

    Now if you bear in mind that about 85% of our bodies and about 70% of the whole earth is water, perhaps our thoughts really can make a difference.

    As this problem is linked to water the following link is a water prayer so that regardless of funds, everyone can use their positive intention to create change.

  • Ok, just donated. Waiting for the jewellery site to be updated now.
    • Its sad to say, here nobody knows about the situation... TV and radio stations news only talk about a plane crash that happened a few days ago.

      So today, Im writting an email to all of my friends to let them know, and also to tv and radio stations in Greece, urging them to broadcast the news.

      • you know, it really spurs me to make an example of the things the average American does NOT recieve watching network (non-cable) news. I don't have all-news channels, so I get the half-hour or hour news. I know they have local as well as world stories to cover, but you'd think something as big as a countrywide famine and thousands starving would be n the news.

        Take a look at my local Atlanta news source: and let me know if I am in error,but I saw nothing about starving children or any kind of famine. I even put "niger famine" in the search box at the top of the page, and while I did get information from sponsored links, which means off-site, there are NO articles on the famine or starving people, which means my local station NEVER covered this issue. Wow.

        Get some reliable news sources, ladies, you have to seek the news out or we'll all remain dumb to reality. UGH!!!! Don't it make you maaaad? I feel like I'm being herded from thought to though, even....
  • I actually donated last weekend. We're sending people over to help as well from my church (missionary church). I figured since I can't go I can help someone who can. :)
    • hmmm, I could buy cheap coffee this month instead of yummy expensive kind....that's about $8...I could buy mostly produce and cook more (which should happen anyway) instead of living off of expensive vegetarian frozen entrees, that's prolly $15 right there....I could stay the heck out of my car as much as possible, that's $15 for a measly week's worth of ridiculously priced gasoline......I could turn the air conditioning warmer, just a touch, and turn off all the extra lights, cutting my power bill down a few bucks....

      Wow, it's amazing where we really can find the extra money, even when it seems like we don't have anything to spare. Cool. I'm sending my extra $40 right now!
      • Unsu...
        I know... we have so many resources here it's astounding. You can almost always dig up something.

        They don't even have trash to go thru. Nothing. Desert.

        You guys, it is such a beautiful thing to see all your posts this morning! Every tiny bit helps!

        I gotta go to TX today, I may be gone for two weeks, but please keep this thread up and running!

        Even if you just post a WHAZZUP!? WHO'S DONATED?

        If we lose this culture to apathy I don't know what I'll do...
        • Unsu...
          But keep it POSITIVE! No guilt, no shame, no worries about what other people are doing.

          Just each of us doing what we can... as much as we can!

          I don't know if I believe in a creator or what not, but if you do, please download the healing chant and light a candle and say some prayers.

          The Tuareg are like family... keep it going, and pass it on to your other tribes, please. Take the photos from this site and post to other Tribal Belly Dance tribes...


          PS: Donate more than once if you can...
    • Unsu...
      IONA! Tell us more about the people that are going over there, what are they doing? Do they need more people?

      Who wants to go?
      • I would go in a heartbeat!!! can just anyone go though? I've always wondered how that works...any info?
        • Generally they want people who have training - medical or disaster relief. My aunt has done some church group/missionary/aid work, but she's a catholic RN with a speciality in public health, so she was kind of a shoe-in.

          My partner volunteers for Red Cross, and you have to go through bunches of training to volunteer at the local level (first aid, CPR, disaster response, mass care), and it's only through working at the local level that you can advance to national and international levels. (My partner actually got to do national work really quickly - he has a skill they really need - communications - so he's gone to set up phone and computer systems for major disasters.) Apparently for the Katrina situation they need 1900 workers, and they will train. The nice thing about red cross is that if you volunteer, you get all the training and certification for free - and generally you have to be on call a few nights a month.

          Maybe it's different for church groups... but from the international aid workers I've spoken to, they want people with pertinent skills and training. I'm kind of insulted by this, because I could certainly do most of the jobs I've heard described (sanitation, distribution, education) - but from the horror stories I've heard of incomptetent workers, I can see why they really need to set a standard for volunteers. It's a shame they don't have a "I"m really smart, hardworking, and a quick learner" category for volunteers!

          Also, you have to pay your own way. (On the national level red cross does cover travel and lodging though, that's the only exception I know.)
          There can also be bureaucracy rigaramole too - some places can only have certain groups come in... a pagan friend of mine had to go with a church group to go to (it was either Haiti or Jamaica, I forget which), since they were the only groups going in.
  • Hooray! It took my donation this morning. Wouldn't take the PO Box, for some reason... Anyway, thank you everyone who is putting their thought and money toward this cause. Starving children should not happen, anywhere. Where are all the pro-lifers? Why isn't this on the news?

    I think the reason this hits me so hard is because the children are dying. It is our responsibility to protect children. You know, and I can spend on one dinner the same amount of money that can keep a whole family alive for an entire year! Somehow, that just doesn't sit well with me. I don't need that one dinner. Literally, you can save a child's life with $5!
  • Good morning everyone! I just sent in my donation :) I'm a student right now with no job. This was a really hard choice for me, but I really started thinking about it after reading all these posts.

    So.. no goth club for me for the next few weeks, heh. I charged it so I won't have to pay it out of pocket right away and can take my time with it. Just felt good to be doing something to help.

    Also posting this in my lj and passing along the email. Thanks Rachel for raising the awareness!!
  • Made my donation.

    I know we all worry about not being able to have the money to make a difference but we really don't have to make a lot of sacrifices. In our studio, we have a jar on the front desk to put spare change to help out people in the studio in need. It is really amazing how that "small" change adds up.

    Look in the bottom of your purses, in your car, on the floors of your home, even on the street. It is amazing how much money is just "floating" around because people don't think of pennies, nickles, and dimes as being significant. Put that jar in your studios or at work. Let's put that money to use!
  • K guys - I just put a listing asking for help on all my tribes and sent it to all my tribe friends asking them to help.

    If you guys all do it too - maybe we can reach everybody! I know you guys are on tribes I'm not, and I know in a day, my listing will fall off the page and no one will see it.

    Help out?
    • I've added it to my Budget Bellydance tribe too - I've asked that if anyone can't spare $$ would they please donate time or organize their friends and families to make donations. I've created a thread for it rather than a listing so I can keep it going....
  • The word is spread...donations made..., the Dutch branch of Oxfam is accepting donations for those of you in NL.

    As soon as the jewelry side is updated I will also buy there.

    Hardly anything in the Dutch news so far...argh. And I'd like to get the company I work for involved. If anyone has an idea how to approach upper management please let me know, I've never done something like this before, only privat so far.
  • One of my tribe friends just replied to my listing with this:

    Um, see this:

    "The amount of subsidies a cow in the developed world receives is almost twice the annual income of an average farmer in the Third World. "
    • "The amount of subsidies a cow in the developed world receives is almost twice the annual income of an average farmer in the Third World. "

      I've a Dr. friend from Nigeria, who worked in the US for a bit (he had just moved to a key position in a blood unit in a Syracuse the day before 9-11). One day he commented that the forensic part of US hospitals was better stocked than an average Nigerian hospital. In other words, he reflected that we "take better care of our dead than African hospitals are able to care for their living." Example: most African hospitals re-use needles-- they have no alternative, beings they have limited inventory of hospital supplies.

      In another conversation, I brought up the subject of candles, candles for ambience. He laughed and said that most people in Nigeria can barely afford candles to use for lighting. Etc.

      Did anyone see the video where people in a "third world" geography came for miles to get a prosthesis limb, supplied by a relief-type organization, and many were so desperate for these that they would take limbs that did not fit them? I'm not recalling where I saw that clip. I think one man made the long journey three times, never getting what he needed.

      Sounds silly, but truly I think along the lines of being grateful to have flushing toilets, running clean water, a bed to sleep in, etc. I seem to carry that perspective with me as I navigate life-- some culture aspects seem flat-out insane, i.e., paying a grand for a pair of shoes, or $5k for a PURSE. Not judging-- makes me wonder, has me thinking about life, energy, the ways of creation.

      • lisa, Im sorry to say, but the way I see it, we -as in the western world- are living off these people.

        We all live way beyond our means. In terms of production, cause and effect, all is like a huge pyramid.

        my bosses feed off of me, I work far more than they, I make the product, but they get more money. How? Well from the excess created by what Im not getting.

        same thing with countries... worlds... its chaotic, you can see it from the tinyest relationship to the big picture....

        Consider it in terms of production of energy...

        The important thing now is to give something back! ;)
      • We are so blessed and fortunate to live where we do, we could have just as easily been born to poverty.

        My mom just visited Cambodia, the hospitals, the death camps, she said she will never throw away another usable medical supply, even used. She now is collecting items to send over to their hospitals. She really wanted to take pictures in the hospitals, but felt it would be an invasion of privacy. The absolute poverty that these people live with every day is unimaginable to most of us.
  • Hey you guys-

    Our local TV station has a story submission form on the web. I bet if you guys (where ever you live) look up your local news station - you can find a way to contact them too.

    Lets all send emails, phone calls, letters - whatever it takes, asking them to please raise some awareness on this issue.

    Here is my letter:
    Dear KRON news team,

    I am very saddened to hear about the 3.6 million people in Niger who are dying of famine and drought right now. This issue has somehow slipped under American radar. It was in the New York Times last week, but we really need to raise awareness in our kind hearted Bay Area people and ask for help. Could you please broadcast something to raise the awareness and help out these beautiful nomadic people get through this tough time?

    “Last week, the United Nations warned that mass hunger was bearing down on millions of people in Niger and neighbouring countries due to locusts and drought and increased its emergency funding appeal five-fold to $81 million. The agency said on Tuesday that it was still $34.4 million short of its latest fund-raising goal. “

    Here is a listing of groups and charities who are helping:
    Africare lets you give directly to this crisis.

    I sincerely thank you for your help and humanity,

    ~~~Others of you in the bay area please do write to KRON - change up the letter a little - send the other facts and other links.
    Submit the story here
    • wassup!!! I have been posting like a mad woman on MySpace and I'm currently working on a fundraiser here in El Paso. Rachel, I love you girl and I'm off to light some candles, listen to the chant and pray-all of your posts have really inspired me to make a change even if just in my own little way. I will pray for all of us here on Tribe as well to have the strength to help these people. BELLY DANCERS UNITE! <----that was my cheesy huddle break. k bye!
  • There are 1265 members on this tribe

    If we all gave just $1 / £1 at
    that would be $1265 / £1265

    if we all gave $10 / £10 that would be $12,650 / £12,650
    if we all gave $50 / £50 that would be $65,250 / £65,250

    here's what your money will buy (in £)...

    £5 can pay for two Oxfam Buckets. Over a year £5 a month can buy 24 buckets. That’s a lot of buckets that can be used in an emergency to keep water clean and keep people healthy.

    £10 can pay for three textbooks for school children in Zambia. Over a year £10 a month can buy 36 textbooks, educating children to give them a brighter future.

    £20 can feed 3 children in Malawi, who have lost their parents to AIDS, for a month. Give Oxfam £20 a month and over a year we can feed 36 children.

    £50 can pay a trainee teacher’s salary in Kenya. Over a year £50 a month means we could pay the salary of 12 more teachers helping people to learn the skills they need to work their own way out of poverty

    £100 could pay for seven water pipes. Give Oxfam £100 a month and in a year we could bring clean, safe water to people in 84 villages.

    £250 can pay for a cow for a dairy farmer in Malawi . Over a year £250 a month can provide 12 families with a cow, that can produce milk to sell and generate an income which could be used to fund their children’s education.

    (figures from

    imagine what £65,250 could buy!?

    The Indigo tribe alone could create massive change in this region but we got to put hands in pockets!
    • Thank you for posting these, it's good to see the change we can effect!
      • I thought I'd get some facts together about the crisis. These facts come from

        3.6 million people may go hungry,
        and this number includes 2.5 million immediately needing food aid.
        Children under age 5 are the most vulnerable — 800,000 are facing hunger, and out of these 250,000 are already malnourished
        and another 32,000 are severely malnourished.

        That's so many little tiny babies, their little tummies empty before they even know what's going on. It just tears me up. I finally sat down and thought about the reality-not having anything to eat for weeks, simply because there IS nothing to EAT.

        I think everyone is so awesome for hopping on this problem- we truly do all love this culture and respect it enough to want to help them out. It makes me feel better about my fellow woman :D I wub noo!
        • I made my donation! I was sitting here eating my SlimFast bar, which is not all that tasty, but just kept thinking about how when I need more food, I take a quick trip to the store, swipe my credit card and voila, no more hunger. I cannot imagine the fear and desperation of being completely without food. Here I am, worried about losing 20 pounds and there are babies who weigh less than that who might not make it through the night.

          Puts it all into perspective.

          Hugs to all and may no one on this tribe ever know the pain of an empty stomach or an empty heart.

  • I want to share with you my experience with the Tuareg people.

    I lived in Cote d'Ivoire(Ivory Coast) in West Africa for two years. During that time I was able to visit a couple Africain countries: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Morocco, Egypt and Mali. By the time I traveled to Mali I had lived in Africa a full two years. I had seen many places and met many people.

    Then I went to Timbuktu,(or also spelled, TOMBOUCTOU) which is a tiny outpost in Mali on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Once in Timbuktu, I traveled outside the small outpost with one guide for four days...way out into the Sahara Desert. My guide, Mohammed, was Tuareg. On our quiet isolated trek we stumbled upon two emcampments, both Tuareg families. At one encampment we had lunch, at another we had dinner and spent the night. The rest of the days and evenings it was just he and I and the vast desert. The encampments we stumbled upon consisted of just one large tent in the middle of absolutely nothing. We stumbled upon one pump during our entire four day journey. Upon eating with these beautiful people(women whose hair and braids are fantastically creative and beautiful, men who are soft spoken with kind and quiet eyes, rice that is cooked by a fire from a whole dug in the sand), I noticed something...these people did not care one bit whether I was American or African or European, or brown or purple or yellow. They didn't bug me for questions about where I came from and what was it like there and could they go there and could they be my friend...They were completely disinterested in where it was I came from.

    They were so proud of their own culture that they did not feel compelled to try to emanate another culture or to be like me or Americains or Europeans. THIS, my friends, was the very first time in my entire life of traveling and especially in Africa, that I met a people who took pride in their own culture and way of life. They had self-esteem, so to speak. They loved themselves. It was amazing. And when they spoke among themselves, they seemed at peace. They never yelled at one another or talked over one another. They were peaceful and seemingly happy. It was remarkable. I've never met anyone like these people before or ever again. They left their mark with me.

    Their jewelry and camel skin boxes and way of life are a gift.

    They are beautiful and they will be lost if we don't help them in some way.

    There are not many cultures, let alone, groups of people, like them left anymore. Untouched by western civilization.

    Let us not allow them to be subjected to begging in the streets of a city for food, away from their desert, away from their homes, away from their life.

    Peace to you,
    • Unsu...
      thank you for writing. i have a friend in west africa right now that i haven't heard from in about a month, and i can't even say clearly what's going thru my head. let's just say it'd be nice to hear from her. but reading what you have to say makes me at least feel better about her welfare/safety. whether or not she has much to eat is a different story, but...if it's that bad, i'm sure she has the option come home, as selfish as that might seem.

      i donated money, and i'll gladly buy...things...but the world is such a sad place that often the act of donating money just feels like a gesture. not to say that i feel the money is unneeded or unwanted.

      it's just such a complicated knot to unwind, the problems that underlie all the suffering in the world. money and food/resources always help, but it seems somewhat like putting a bandaid on a wound that needs at least minor surgery. i was going to say gangrenous, but that's a bit too negative ;)

      i wish we could all just fix the world by just wanting to. but i suppose everything has to start somewhere.
      • "i wish we could all just fix the world by just wanting to"

        Cindy, it really does start by envisioning the world you *WANT* to live in. Not the world that you think could happen, but what you truly want it to be. If you can imagine this, that is the first step towards making it a reality.

        I totally hear you about throwing a bandaid over a more serious problem, but awareness is essential before any healing can happen. Our leaders are not addressing the issue because we are not demanding it. We have to make this issue a priority.
        • I whole heartedly agree.

          One cannot place a bandaid over the world's problems.

          However, change does indeed begin with awareness of the world's problems.

          And it begins with compassion for others and caring for things outside of yourself.

          It begins with community; having a sense of community, having an investment in something other than the things you buy.

          It does *not* begin with building a wall around you where only you exist and the only things that are important are consumption and what YOU have to do tomorrow.

          Our society and its *very* effective propoganda has uprooted us and moved us towards a world where we don't give a shit about our neighbor; let alone our environment.

          It is very sad.

        • Unsu...
          sorry guys, i wasn't purposefully trying to be negative. *sheepish smile*

          but here i go again. ;)

          one of the biggest problems i find is the number of people who _are_ aware, and who honestly don't care. everyone's had a frustrating conversation with someone who just didn't see it their way. i've had agonizing convos with coworkers who insist that poverty is caused by laziness, and that the homeless deserve what they get. i have to leave to go to the bathroom to cry out of frustration and sadness.

          so - how can you make people change their minds? and an even stickier question is...who gives me the right to try to make someone else see things the same way as i do? i can present my opinion to someone, and tell them why i feel/think the way i do, and i have the right to do that - but on the other hand, is it right for me to pass judgement on them for disagreeing with me?

          but in the end, you're so very right about going thru life by actively envisioning what you want. that's the most realistic and healthy thing that a person can do to improve their situation. it's just that sometimes, i'd rather just punch a hole in the wall. ;) taurus, i admit it.
  • Unsu...
    I donated last night. I have learned so much about these people just from this tread. Thank you Rachel for your inspiration, it has inspired me to learn more about these facinating people, and to keep there culture alive.
    • Here are some chilling photos of children and the extent of malnourishment. Warning!!! Pretty intense...

      Please DONATE today!
      • Unsu...
        I got an email from a woman named Leslie who runs, and the Nomad Foundation. She lives in Niger 1/2 the time and Ojai the other 1/2 She's gone out there HERSELF.

        "I am in Niger now and going out to the bush to see what needs to be done. Have alot of info already from good people at the US Embassy.
        You can email with a credit card number. He is handling all donations through the foundation account and will wire them to me in Niger.

        Thank you for your help--there is alot to be done.


        Through her organization you can purchase LIVESTOCK. Wow, that's amazing...

        I'll keep you updated as she sends updates.

        KEEP THE PEOPLE OF NIGER ALIVE! If you've read this and haven't donated, just do it now!

        I donated again today, to

        • Unsu...
          that is BADASS!!!
          • Unsu...

            Tee Shirts

            I've made a shirt to raise awareness about the situation. $20 per tee shirt will go toward the effort.


            The back of the tee says:

            "The Fulani, Tuareg and Wodaabe peoples, among others, may lose their nomadic way of life in 2005, as a result of severe drought and locust infestation. A small donation could make the difference between a free, nomadic life, and poverty in the slums for those who survive. Don't wait until it's too late. For more information, contact:


            This tee was made by a concerned citizen not affiliated with any of the above organizations."

            As I said, $20 per shirt will go toward the effort, but please don't let this be the only way you donate, as the $$ doesn't get to me for 45 days, and they need $$ now. The purpose of the shirt is awareness raising. I didn't know this was happening until I saw the cover of the New York times, so I think we just gotta let people know it's happening!
            • Thank you Rachel! What an awesome idea! I just ordered mine and I vow to wear it whenever I go out. Great to wear to the Power to the Peaceful festival on Sept 10. Perfect timing. I think I'll print up some flyers to hand out too while I'm there. 50,000 conscious people in one park is a pretty cool place to raise awareness. If anyone else is going and wants to help me print up and hand out flyers – please message me.
            • I ordered a Tee, Fwd'd to my friends, & will continue to promote & donate to this cause. This was one of the reasons our troupe formed, to help women throughout the world who aren't as blessed as we. Thank you for the reminder. Namaste, Jan
  • Think of it this way: If we call in sick to work ( for whatever reason) one day out of the month we can get by, Right???. How about if we dedicate at least one day's work income a month, how many people would benefit out of that??
    Let's all dedicate one day's work income to this people, it won't affect us so much but imagine the help they would receive if we stick together.
    That's the least we can do for them, after all Tribal wouldn't be what it is today without them, they've given us a beautiful gift. It's time to give something back to them.
    Thank You Rachel for informing and encouraging us.
    • Unsu...
      "That's the least we can do for them, after all Tribal wouldn't be what it is today without them, they've given us a beautiful gift. It's time to give something back to them. "


      I gotta go sew some Tribal Jewelry on my costume now for tonight's show... a show that would not even be happening if it weren't for them.
      • Unsu...
        Almost two hours since the last donation! Alert! Alert!
        • I have a show tomorrow at a Hookah Bar here in town. I have already alerted the masses and made it a "save the people of Niger" benefit. I've already had a lot of responses on MySpace from people that will be there to help! Everything that I make tomorrow will go to them. Hope it helps even if just a little bit.
          • Unsu...
            Aaahhh, Natalia, good on you.

            If you were starving and almost dead, and you were the one saved by a couple of bucks, you'd sure be grateful.

            I hope we get to all of them, though.
            • Rachel, thank you so much for bringing this up at your workshop last night, I rarely navigate the web, even though I'm on tribe, so I have no idea how long it would've been before I would've known if you hadn't mentioned it.

              I've been receiving inspiration from these people ever since I found out about the gerewol festival, a great example of a beautiful matriarchal society at work. These people are incredible, they celebrate life and beauty in such pure and joyful ways, they often remind me of how we could better our own lives. I know they have touched my heart and soul for years, and I see the same in so many of you sisters out there, it shows in your dance. To help feed them is to help feed yourself and all of your brothers and sisters, to feed body and soul with food and love.

              I donated when I got back from ya hall ya'll and sent an email out to everyone on my email list. I've also contacted a local non-profit "the school for divine essence", and they're already doing a lot to raise money, support and awareness here. Together we're going to put together a benefit show at a local middle eastern restaurant.

              To finally take the time to read a thread on tribe and have it be one where everyone is expressing love, admiration, concern, awareness, and support, is an amazing experience. Props to all you lovely ladies who embody the compassion that so many of our neighbors have forgotten.
  • Was the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday.

    The pictures make me so sad - but happy to see the article in the paper. I hope people read it. We are all so numb.

    Niger by the numbers

    Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 64 percent of the almost 12 million inhabitants surviving on less than $1 a day. Though it has one of the world's largest deposits of uranium, most of its economy centers on subsistence farming, disrupted by frequent droughts common to the Sahel region of western Africa. More facts about the country:

    Population: 11.7 million

    Number receiving wages or salaries: 70,000

    Birth rate (per 1,000): 48

    Death rate (per 1,000): 21

    Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 121

    Life expectancy: 42

    Literacy rate: 17% (25% male, 9% female)

    Religion: 80% Muslim (the remainder are Christian and indigenous religions)

    Source: CIA World Factbook
  • I'm also going to buy a jacket and a ring.
    • Unsu...
      Thanks Rachel for this thread. It's amazing how the Universe guides us.

      I was just miserable once again today as I saw another child on the street begging (I live in Panama and this is common..3 and 4 yr olds working in the hight of traffic just to get a few dollars back to their pimp).

      .anyway, this has been bugging me more than usual and then tonite I read this thread...I strongly believe in teaching people how to fish, instead of giving them I am going to look for some organization here that perhaps need volunteers to teach these children to read or anything that can definitely change these kids future.

      Lots of the street kids here are on their own, or their parents are the crack heads, even if you give them money, u know it's not going to them, it's going to some evil adult that's using them for profit..unfortunately that's the reality of my country, the reality of 3rd world.

      ..soooo after this long winded comment, thanks once again for this thread, my brain is finally working towards a solution and not just paralized without knowing what to do in these types of cases.

      I will also see what I can donate to the Tuareg, Fulani and Woodabe, it's true, we do owe them our thanks for influencing our art, the little we can do is help them in some way.

      Have fun in TX.

      Andrea :)
      • In an attempt to raise consciencious children, I asked my children to read one of the articles on the famine in Niger. I showed them a few photos. Without asking them to do so, they ran out of my room to retrieve their piggybanks. Another donation will be made to help with the crisis in Niger.

        My youngest daughter wants to bring everyone from Niger here to the US so they can be fed properly. She wants to feed them her favorite dish; buffalo wings!! LOL I told her it would be much more practical to send food to them. My daughter also said she will approach her teacher Monday morning to ask if her class can have a fundraiser to raise money for food.

        I have such great kids!!!
        • Unsu...
          Really? OMigosh, if she has a fundraiser, pleeeeease let us all know!
          • School report:

            Miss Bella (the fourth grader) approached her teacher yesterday and was told that she and the teacher can speak more in depth in a day or two. Not satisfied, she then went to see the principal of the school. She too was busy. First day of school chaos, I'm sure. Bella came home a bit dissatisfied. I told her to wait a day or two for things to settle down; everyone will be more receptive then.

            You have to give the little girl credit...the kid has moxie!

            Apparently the middle school already participates with programs that send aid to Africa. My son and daughter were told by one of their teachers who chairs on the board that Niger will be brought up during their September meeting in a few weeks.

            So...not such a bad report at all! : )
  • we just made a donation to a great organization that puts about 92% of their money into the programs. I searched Charity navigator to find the org. that uses the money most efficiently. Im sure there are other great ones too, I'll probably send another donation thru OXFAM.
    • check out:
      • Unsu...
        MIAH! MICHI! Yess! ( Don't steal my name again, hee hee... :)

        Only Miah in the last 24 hours tho? Wow... we're slowin' down big time.

        ...and they are still starving and in danger of being wiped out.

        I know it feels good to donate, to do a little. A little is good, and we can do more. Think about anyone you know who would be interested in this. I don't just want to help, I want to SAVE THEIR CULTURE.

        Help is good, don't get me wrong. If we don't help we kill them ourselves with apathy and negligence. But we can do more - we can save them.

        Keep the dream alive. See them getting the medical care and food, see the images from Africa Adorned becoming reality again.

        Let's make it happen.

        Imagine if it were happening to you or your family. Please. I don't know how else to reach people.

        Tell me what I can do to reach people! I have to go overseas and I just want to stay and help! Who can help me?

        Carleigh is putting a benefit together. We need everyone who has the resources to do something...
  • I am in the process of selling some sca costumes and my cabaret costume soon as i get those sold I will be donating all i can afford to this, I'll get this info up on some sca lists as well plenty of sca ladies wear lots of tribal jewelry as well!
  • Rachel I also want to thank you for mentioning this at the workshop, i think everytime i sat down to eat this weekend these people came to mind. Any place i can think to post this information I will.
    • Unsu...
      That makes me happy:)

      I wanna say: regarding my last post: if you donated, I am so freaking proud of you, I hope my crazy enthusiasm and intense emotion didn't come off as ungrateful. I'm grateful for everything that every one of you has done... even speaking to a friend or two!

      I just get passionate and excited, and maybe a little nutso over it all.

      I'm making plans to go over there, I'll keep you all posted.

      • Rachel you're not the only one getting all passionate about this situation,lol. I feel a strong sense of obligation to help them, I see the clock and I wonder how many more people are dying while we sit down and drink coffee or watch TV or have a nice dinner. I already started talking to family, friends and co-workers about it, to make them aware, just like you did with us.

        If you guys haven't read the post "one day" please do so, it's related with this thread. Somebody suggested having a bloggathon, but nobody has came up to take the responsability to organize it and I have no clue how to do it.
        If we get it going I'm planning to print some flyers to make people aware of this situation and get them to help. I think we'd get more response from people that are not involved into tribal bellydancing, just by showing them facts about what's going on overthere and showing them how to help.
  • Bump! :)

    Found myself talking to people at a party on Friday about this crisis! Feels good to be doing what I can to help *smile* Happy Sunday! I'm so impressed by the donations and ideas in this thread. What a great community!
    • Thank you Rachel and tribe for the info, urgency, for the sense or caring, responsibility --- making my donation to as we speak and putting together an email to all my personal contacts, urging them to do the same.
      Be well,
      • Unsu...
        • I forgot to mention my donation. I bought two goats for someone! YAY!!!!! Or was it a cow? hmmm. Either way, I hope the leetle ones get their milk. And I will continue donating, I really hope changes are starting to sift down to these starving babies.

          I really appreciate you rallying everyone together, Rachel! Look at the POST COUNT!!! WOO HOO!!
          • Unsu...
            Here's another organization that is working in Niger


            they work in communities through children, and advocating children's rights and helping them as a community, building leaders, helping during famine, etc.

            Andrea :)
            • Unsu...
              ps-on PLAN INTERNATIONAL's site u can read personal stories from people experiencing the crisis in Niger directly

              • Unsu...
                • okay, just got off the phone to the Irish Red Cross - they will send me material for a fund raiser I am planning to do at work on Wednesday (I am working in a company with about 1000 employees) - together with some of my colleagues I will do a 24 hour fast to raise money and awareness about the situation in Niger ..... wish me luck and lots of generous people .... I will keep you all posted ;-)

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Grrrr..... I've mailed all my contact list to send messages to the greek TV... still no sign of the subject!!! I tell everyone I know, this has got me seriously pissed off!

                    On friday Im dancing on the festival, Ill be donating my paycheck and I asked if after the show I can make a public announcement to the audience.

                    The festival is world music and jazz and a % of the money will go to unicef allready so I figure they wont object.
                    • I just wanted to know... is the problems in Niger are fully documented in the US media? because it's on this tribe i first heard, in France we have no info about the situation overthere... nothing on the TV, nothing in the main newspapers so... i was just guessing if we were underinformed or if it's the same for you?
                      • I have heard of it once on the news here in the US. I am thinking they are really not covering it, although I don't watch tv or read the newspaper all that often. I was totally disgusted to see a special on prime time last week about the pres's new chef. Our media has their own priorities, and I can guarantee it has nothing to do with helping others in need.
                      • American media caters to what they think Americans want to hear... I think that most Americans are tired of hearing of Africa's troubles because A) a majority of Americans have no connection to Africa and see tribes of people who look different, talk different, and have completely different life issues and B) Africa is plagued with problems and many Americans are probably just tired of hearing about it (but of course, we in this tribe are NOT like that!). It takes something like the sudden and dramatic death of 1000 Africans to equal the same amount of news coverage time as the death of 1 or 2 Americans. There's actually a term for this phenomenon used by political scientists, but the term escapes me right now.

                        This does NOT mean that WE as concerned global citizens have an excuse to be complacent! Keep spreading the word!
  • This book was recommended to my on my post on the Africa tribe.

    Any of you sensitive to debate - don't go over and read the knucklehead there who thinks these people are due for extinction anyway.... I don't think engaging him anymore is worth anyone's time, I had a few very tired words late lastnight. He’s a lost cause - I just hope he hasn't discouraged anyone else from helping.

    But some wise person told me about this book Save Three Lives. There is a good description of it on the link - I won't paste it all here, it's long...

    "The global crisis of famine is steadily worsening. And most efforts to stop it not only fail, but contribute to the problem. In a book free of technical jargon, America's leading exponent of organic gardening, the late Robert Rodale (publisher, Olympic athlete, farmer, and visionary), shows how we can defeat the horrors of famine and enjoy the fruits of sustainable agriculture on a global scale........"

  • My progress report -

    I will not be online much this week- but will check in evening time.

    I have written to the organizations we have discussed that are helping with this cause and asked for flyers and what not to handout and use at my booth at Power to the Peaceful. (if you don't know what that is - I am just waiting to see who and how many I will get before I will go print more to make sure I have enough - there are 50,000 people in attendance at the festival so I will need a lot. I will also need help running the booth - selling the t-shirts Rachel made (which I will order), handing out flyers, and hussleing people for $$$.

    Also as Rachel said, I am planning a benefit - I am just waiting to secure the venue - which sadly hasn't been easy for the date and seating I want. I have to hear back from the last 2 places today. I am sure all these messages will come in while I am out so I will update later.

    Have a great week you guys - keep spreading the word.
    • The issue is not covered in Canadian media either - or at least not that I have seen. With all the summer festivals winding down for the season, the time to get the word out is NOW! Anyone that will have access to a large crowd and a microphone - spread the word! If you're performing at a festival, ask the organizers if you can pass out fliers with all the charity organizations websites on them. If you're vending anywhere, include a flier with every reciept, or advertise that a portion of your sales will go to this urgent cause.
  • Unsu...
    I'm going to Burning Man next week, which means I won't have my normal commute, which means I don't have to put gas in my car. As I commute more than 20 miles each way, five days a week (plus my 12 or 15 mile drive to class on Saturday), that adds up to quite a bit of gasoline I won't be buying, even given the gas it'll take to get to the event. The money I won't be spending on gas has gone to Niger, instead.
  • Hey Rachel,

    I want to buy a t-shirt from the help section of your merch site - but I was wondering, specifically, what percentage of cost goes where? Is it better to just donate straight to MSF or Oxfam?

    • Unsu...
      Hey, Inaya!

      $20 per shirt is donated... I think it would be better to donate straight up, but a shirt will also help spread awareness to the people standing behind you at the grocery store. The problem seems to be lack of awareness more than anything.

      Unicef isn't taking donations anymore BECAUSE THE CAUSE IS FULLY FUNDED!!!! Yesssssss!!

      We need to do more to help them, so let's send money to Leslie Clark. She's taking 40 tons of food herself, answers emails, and is a direct line to what is happenening there.

      You can email with a credit card number or call 805 646 1706 He is handling all donations through the foundation account and will wire them to me in Niger.
      Thank you for your help--there is alot to be done.
      • Rach - is it possible to edit UNICEF off your HELP t-shirts and maybe add Africare? It's too late for the big batch I ordered for Power to the Peaceful - but could help beofre the SF benefit show.....

        Let me know if I can help.

  • I've posted this before, but never heard anything back about it - but ever since I saw an ad for the ONE campaign, I've been hooked. I'm in the SLOW process of organizing a monthly halfla of all of the dancers in Memphis, TN to get together and perform for each other and the public's donations to be sent to worldwide poverty. I think I just found my cause though after reading all of this!

    I've been calling them Compassion Haflas, but I like the idea of "One tribe - Worldwide" All I have left to do is find a good location like a coffee shop or something that will bring in people off the street. . . the more the merrier!
    • Here is a little bit more on these beautiful people;

      The Tuareg
      Location: Southern Algeria, southwestern Libya, Mali, and Niger

      History: Tuareg is an African culture that lives mainly in two groups, the southern and northern groups which are independent of each other. Although the two different groups do not always compliment one another, they do share common views and value systems. A member of the tribe is identified in a class by matrilineal descent (through their mother's ancestry).

      Both groups speak the native language Tamashek, and write in Tifinagh, which is related to ancient Libyan. The economy of both groups have always been based on agriculture, trading, and livestock. The southern groups live in savanna, and often breed camels and other livestock. The northern groups generally live in desert area and often buy zebu from the southern groups. The Tuareg are a feudal culture characterized by the social organization of class. The nobility consist of nobles and landowners, the upper classes consists of the clergy and artisans while the lower class includes primarily laborers. In fact, the Tuareg have Bella who are black slaves.
      The Tuareg (pronounced TWAH-reg) are a smaller population consisting of only 1 million, but cover six countries in Africa. It covers a large part in southern Algeria and circled through central Mali, Burkina Faso, the very northern tip of Benin, Nigeria and half of Niger. The Tuareg are known for their men's practice of veiling the face with a blue, indigo-dyed cloth. In the Sahara Desert, where most of them reside, they are known as the "Blue Men." The Tuareg men's face-veil has several different meanings. It shows the male gender role identity and shows that he respects and reserves the cultural values of the Tuareg. It protects them from evil spirit that enters through bodily openings. The face-veil is also attractive to the women and has many different styles. It covers the nose and mouth. Women do not wear the face-veils, they wear a head-scarf which only covers her hair after she is married to show that she is married and can no longer be loved by any other man. There are a variety of styles from tie-dyed to plain cotton.

      The weather is hot during the winter and windy with sandstorms in the winter. The temperature ranges are extreme from about 130 degrees Fahrenheit to only 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Many Tuareg have migrated to rural and urban areas farther south to avoid the droughts and natural disasters, which brought on the famine in the southern part of Algeria. There is a variety of foods that are obtained through caravan trade, such as millet and several spices. They farm their own crops including barley, wheat, corn, onions, tomatoes, and dates. Dried and pounded vegetables are added to sauces. Meat is only eaten on holidays and rites of passage. The Tuareg eat a lot of fish along the River Niger. The major language of the Tuareg is Tamacheq. Most of the Tuareg are Muslim. They read the Koran and believe that there are a lot of evil spirits because of the many illnesses in their culture. They also practice fortune-telling with cowrie shells, lizards, mirrors, and sometimes use the Koran to heal.

      The rites of passage among the Tuareg are like that of the Hausa culture. They have a secret naming ceremony about a week after a baby is born. The night before the naming ceremony, the elderly female relatives take the baby and give him or her a secret Tamacheq name. The day of the naming ceremony they cut a piece of the baby's hair and bind it with the spirit world and the father gives the baby an official Arabic name from the Koran. The Islamic scholar, the religious leader performing the ceremony, cuts the throat of a ram while he says the name of the baby and everyone celebrates with a feast, camel-races, and evening dancing festivals

      In the past, the Tuareg of the north would live in tents made of camel hair woven together by the women of the tribe. The skin would be pulled tightly across a rectangle of poles, with four poles to support curved ridges to reduce damage, which today maybe replaced with plastic. The housing of the southern Tuareg looked the same although they used goat skin rather than camel hair. The southern tent can take up to forty skins to complete.

      The women of the village were responsible for weaving and leather working while the men would forge metal. Men called forgerons would go out looking for metal and convert it into weapons. Some of the early weapons of the Tuareg were swords, dagger, iron lances and leather shields.

      The Tuareg Today: During the seventies and eighties a severe drought caused the Tuareg to live mostly in one area and not move around. In the twentieth century there were reported to be 900,000 Tuareg living throughout Africa. Today there is roughly 1.3 million Tuareg. Most Tuareg children go to neighboring countries to learn skills to bring back home. Most of these children will join the Malinese army in order to acquire skills and do apprentice work.
  • Again-

    Hi ladies here and anyone else putting on a fundraiser or benefit show -

    Liz Lucas at Oxfam is wonderful and is sending me flyers for my benefit here in San Francisco. She said you guys are welcome to drop her a quick email with your mailing address and about how many flyers you think you will need (try not to over shoot - the printing cost takes away from the food for the babies in Africa!!!)

    catch her at

    Great luck with your fundraisers!
  • I emailed the Nomad Foundation w/ a donation a week ago and still haven't heard from them :( Does it take them a while to get back to you?
    • Well, I'm out of a job, but I'm writing it all over my arms, and if I perform anywhere, you can bet it'll be written on my belly.(The address, I mean.) As soon as I can scrounge up something--ANYTHING--I'll donate.
      • Cried when I saw this the 1st time, before rachel mentioned it here, meant to look up a way to donate as soon as i had something to donate.

        Looked at the pics again tonight, read how babies are force fed because they only want mommie's milk, and since mom is starving, there isn't any. Remebering when I shared my WIC stuff with my best friend who was living in a shelter, preggers and only eating the leftovers that her other 2 kids didn't finish.

        So here i am, with my darling 2month old, that i didn't plan, knowing that everynight, my milk is soaking the waterproof pad that we sleep on, knowing that he often nurses just for comfort and will spit up some because of it, and knowing that on his 2 month check up, the doc said he was the size of a 3 and 1/2 month old; remembering how i was worried that I might not have enough milk because of my age. I find myself wishing I could go there and nurse the ones who won't take a bottle.

        Going to bring this up to a group we hang w/ to see if they will take it on. My biggest worry is that it won't get to them. People are jaded because a large portion of the aid that was sent to Ethiopia in the 80's crisis, just sat and rotted, because the gvt wouldn't distribute.
        Hoping the people along the gulf will recover as well. Wondering if there's a place to send the diapers that my well-fed baby outgrew.

        Oh and the silly man on the Africa tribe, wondering if he realizes that a bunch of small heards scattered accross a large area has far less impact, is more natural and less likely to cause this type of situation than the type of animal managemnet practiced in the west.

        In the meantime, I will pray for rain in the areas that need it. And try to send love to all. We MUST all change the way we live and act on this earth or else face anihlation.

        Love you all,

  • Hello! The starvation is still real in Afrika!
    please keep the donation posts coming
    ya'll Raq!!
    • Hey everyone...i'm having an "issue" that I need some advice if you all could....

      -so, with the exception of a bi-weekly show that I had which was dedicated to the raising of money for Niger and someone contacting me on MySpace saying that they had just donated, I don't feel like I've reached as many people as I had wanted. I am planning a big benefit and my very recently ex-boyfriend was going to play along with three other well known bands here in town that wanted to help out. I got the venue all squared away, but they said that they wouldn't be able to do it until mid September. So, I've been in the works of organizing and all that good stuff and talking everybody that I come in contact withs ears off about the situation right now and everybody seems really pumped and ready for it. Which was good.

      cue Katrina.

      I feel so selfish for saying this, but there is another girl that lives here in El Paso and she just posted like ten million bulletins about this benefit show that she is having for katrina victims in the middle of September as well!!!! Her cousin is Chino from the Deftones and he is going to be making an appearance at this thing and I just feel like mine won't seem as important or draw in as many people as I would've liked. I just feel like Niger didn't get as much recognition or help as it should have and now I feel like I'm having some competition!!! El Paso is not known for being very generous on the money end, so two major benefit shows in one month is a little bit much to ask of the people that live here in my opinion---and I've lived here for 22 years, so i know. so my spirits were kinda down today because i want to be able to make the best of the situation and still help as much as i think i could have without seeming like I'm jumping on the benefit show bandwagon!!!

      do not get me wrong, i'm down for helping katrina victims because well, they need help too, but I just can't shake this feeling that the whole Niger thing will be overlooked. gawd, i feel so bad for feeling that way 'cause helping people is helping people. I don't know, any input on what I should do about this?
      • Hey girl - dealing with the same pain. I'm having a hard time with it too.

        It is said that the crisis in West Africa has been ignored for over a year - I'm sure we've had one thing after another take our attention from it, but keep your chin up and keep your focus. Ironic that a flood stole the focus from our drought, huh?

        Can you change your date? I would, I'd change it to a little bit later - and even use this other big event as a place to advertise. Wear your Don't Let My People Die t-shirt and bring flyers to the Katrina fundraiser. GO support them, and hope they'll come support you...
        • Bumpy thing...make it two.
          • hey thanks Carleigh...
            right after I signed off of tribe, I signed back on to MySpace and there was a message from her asking me to please dance for her benefit. I said yes if she promised to play the kazoo or the triangle or something for mine (which I set back two more weeks). We settled on Cartwheels.

            I will definately bring some flyers and all that jazz and maybe I can even have some time on the mic to talk it up---and throw in some of my badass freestyle ;) lol.

            thanks so much for the advice...and that is pretty ironic how that happened. drought and flood. wierd.
      • Feel your pain. Am having the same problems here. Then some. My show location is closing it's doors on the 15th and my show is on the 24th. So I am scrambling to find a new location. Plus all the local belly dancers are talking about putting on their own fundraisers. I'm a little depressed about it, but have decided to start widening my scope. Instead of focusing on the belly dance community- I 'm going to start promoting in other communities that I'm a part of- hopefully I will get a new space soon. And I am going to support both causes. And I can always change the date if i can't find a place. Trying to be positive!
  • I wore my shirt to Target just now and got stopped by a women who grabbed me and went " that a Wodaabe? He's sooo beautiful, where can I get one of those shirts???" So I sold her one right there in Target's parking lot out of my car! And gave her the website cause she's sure all her friends will want one - and they all want to come to the benefit too! :)
  • Just a bump so we don't forget...
    • Jewelry fundraiser this weekend!
      Beautiful handcrafted Tuareg jewelry!
      ALL proceeds go directly to a community in
      Open house Sunday, the 11th in San Jose.
      Please contact me if you are interested, and I will
      e-mail you the address.
      Go check out some of the pieces at...
      We will also be at Power to the Peaceful in SF at
      Golden Gate Park on Saturday the 10th.
      peace, love and community to you all.
      • bump...can we get a 250 post count??
        • Doing my part for 250...bump-bumpa-bump
          • Unsu...
            bump again!
            Don't know if anyone's like me, but I'm married to the original Scrooge. Come December 1st, he turns totally obnoxious and cheap. So I start my Christmast shopping ridiculously early so we don't notice the $ expense. Just did my shopping on-line - my family is going to think I'm insane when they get thank you notes for donating goats and livestock instead of a sweater or whatever for Christmas! Thought they might need the funds more now instead of waiting until December.

            Seriously though, we all have so much "crap" - who needs more every year? Got the kids involved, and sat down and figured out how much we usually spent on each person. They had a blast finding the different regions on the map, picking out different organizations to donate to on each family member's behalf, whether to send $ or funds for goats, cows, etc. Instead of buying a new Christmas tree (we donated the old one to a women's shelter and meant to buy a new one this year), they're gonna scour the stores later in the fall, check out the price for a replacement and we'll donate it. What the hell, we'll string lights around the couch instead!

            every little bit adds up.
            • That is beautiful!

              Even if you do buy gifts - buy Tuareg Jewlery for eachother!

              Or some cool cothes from the Nomad Boutique at - at least then your $$$ is still going to help those in need!!!

              Yay for 250 posts!
              • Whaaaa! Just noticed this thread slipped away!

                Keep this thread and these people alive - BUMP.

                • And don't forget to join the nomadic culture tribe to stay ontop of these issues.

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    make it personal - get to know these people! Put a face to the headlines. Many of them are now living in our countries. I know that what got my kids wanting to help was meeting the amazing owners/staff at a local African restaurant we just happened to stubble into. Both the owners and most of the customers there that night are immigrants from Niger. They had articles posted about their homeland and struggles to live there and to immigrate here near the cash register. They took the time to talk to the boys about life in general and almost fell over in shock when the kids started to ask them questions.

                    Don't hide it from your kids, they can be some of the most powerful agents for change (they're great at blackmailing reluctant relatives!! :o) ) ...hell, hopefully they'll be inheriting a better world for all of us. Without them on board, there's no way I could have talked my husband into donating.
              • I'm going to do all my Christmas shopping at
                My loved ones get presents. Those in need get food :)
                • we had our Niger crisis hungar benefit on sat 9/10 and it went SOO WELL!!
                  it was amazing, we had 8 belly dancers volunteer and one acoustic musician. we held the event at a restaurant in sterling VA and we raised money and awareness!!! we transcended belly drama and used our passion for dance to help save lives. we took donations for Oxfam and the American Red Cross. The performances were beautiful and the audience very supportive! thanks Rachel for bringing this to all of our attention! and thanks to
                  Daryth and Dave


  • Thank you rachel and thank you dance community!

    It's so wonderful to see so many people donating and working to help humanity. As what most would consider a "starving college student" i realized that this is FAR FAR FAR from the case! These people are truly starving, a concept very few Americans can grasp, and fortunatly, never will have to.
    I donated part of my scholarship....hey, that's what student loans are for right?
    Please keep involved, and even if you can't donate....spreading the word does as much as any donation! All 200+ posts here prove it!
  • Bumpety bump bump bump.

    I wanted to add that as well as donating a while ago to I made a donation at Rachel's workshop on Sunday to go to as I figured it's easier than them worrying about them changing currency and such like for a small donation and I doubt they could accept a donation by switch either as I think it's a Europe only thing.

    By the way, anyone got any idea what the running tally is on donations on a global scale? Looking at the website for, their closing total for the Boxing Day Tsunami appeal was £300 million (about $540 million). A staggering amount of money raised in just a couple of months from the British public. Thats actually a fiver for every UK resident.

    I doubt very much that this campaign has been as successful so far but does anyone have any ideas?
    • I keep seeing totals from various organizations - but no global total and everything says the problems are still bad and worse.

      The World Food Programme said its operation in Niger remains only 58% funded, with $23m of the $57.6m appeal still urgently required.
  • i don't have thousands of words, but i stumbled into a few pictures that speak...
    • Hooray for 280! Bump!
      • bump it!
        • I wonder how these kind of tragedies happen when there are such simple ways to help prevent it. I'm not a scientist but I was watching that special diary piece on MTV with Angelina Jolie and how simple interventions such as a $7 mosquito net and fertilizer can save thousands of lives. We live in a country where war is the top of the agenda because we are supposably trying to save the lives of the middle east but not people in such poor, disease ridden countries. I sometimes feel so helpless and insignificant in the scheme of things...does my $100 really make a difference? Why isn't this situation of world hunger and poverty a priority? It really freaks me out that after all these years of the constant problems in the poor third world countries, nothing significant has been done to save these people and to preserve their cultures. It's just a vicious cycle of famine and disease. I almost wonder if God is trying to tell us something....what it is...I don't know. I remember way back when.....back in the 80's there was all this support for poverty and hunger.... "We are the World" and "Band-Aide". What happened to that? A one hit wonder song and that was about it?
          It makes me crazy.
  • ...please consider coming to this event.
    Info at
    I will be donating all the profits to TurtleWill (
    • I plan on having a donations table for the children in Sudan for my baby shower....instead of games, I have arranged for dancing.....ATS dancing and my African dance instructor, Biboti, will also be dancing....YEEESSSSSSS!!!!!

      Even before I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to do this at the baby shower....let's celebrate life in all ways.

      I've gotten some strange responses from some of those I've invited to the party (mostly family)....they are all like, 'Why Africa?'....which angers me but I just take a deep breath and inform them....I've had some people say that they would rather donate to the Katrina Fund, I just tell them to go ahead---but this is my shower and we will be donating to Sudan. <insert pleasant smile here>

      I've been online doing research to create brochures that are extremely informative for all the guests at the party...if they choose not to donate then, maybe they will on their own once they read the brochure.

      I will be sending all donations to:

      There is a tribe for Sudan which is extremely informative for anyone who is interested!!!

      This thread was great....thanks!!!
  • BUMP

    The number of people dying from chronic hunger and related illnesses is on the rise, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.
    More than six million people have died from hunger this year, said WFP director James Morris, in comments to mark World Food Day.

    "Hunger and related diseases still claim more lives than Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined," he said.

    He urges givers of aid not to forget the scale of the problem.

    "The number of chronically hungry people is on the rise again, after decades of progress. We're losing ground," he said.

    According to the WFP, 25,000 people die from hunger and poverty every day.

    visit for a list of places you can contribute to famine relief efforts.

    25,000 people a day? That is my entire home town. We can not tolerate this suffering in our world.

    You guys were on fire donating in August...are you still giving?
    • Bummmp. Thanks for the reminder Carleigh. I'm gonna order my shirt and pre-order the DVD for the benefit show this week. I'm so excited that you decided to do that because I really really wanna be there, but I live on the east coast.

      I'm also spreading the word through my school, and trying to organize a benefit concert with some of the local bands that my friends are in. Thanks again for the reminder Carleigh, we're doing so well, we can't stop now!

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