Tuareg people

Berber people of the Sahara desert with a nomadic pastoralist lifestyle

The Tuareg (Arabic: طوارق‎, sometimes spelled Touareg in French, or Twareg in English) are a Berber ethnic group. The Tuareg today lives mostly in West Africa, but they were once nomads that moved throughout the Sahara. They used their own writing known as the tifinaɤ.

Kel Tamasheq
A Tuareg man
Total population
c. 3 million
Regions with significant populations
 Niger2,116,988 (8.7% of its total population)[1]
 Mali536,557 (2.6% of its total population)[2]
 Burkina Faso370,738 (1.85% of its total population)[3]
 Algeria25,000–150,000 (0.36% of its total population)
 Tunisia2,000 (nomadic, 0.018% of its total population)
Tuareg languages (Tafaghist, Tamahaq, Tamasheq, Tamajeq, Tawellemmet), Maghrebi Arabic, French, Hassaniya Arabic
Related ethnic groups
Other Berbers, Hausa people

Today most Tuaregs are Muslims. Their most important leader was a woman. Tuareg men use veils, but not women. Their families are matrilinear.


  1. "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2016-10-08., Niger: 11% of 18.6 million
  2. Pascal James Imperato; Gavin H. Imperato (2008). Historical Dictionary of Mali. Scarecrow. p. lxxvii. ISBN 978-0-8108-6402-3., Mali: 3% of 17.9 million population
  3. "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2016-10-08., Burkina Faso: 1.9% of 19.5 million