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Tuareg veils


In Tuareg culture, men wear elaborate face veils (a lithma or chin veil which is also wrapped around their head as several meters long cloth), whereas women wear body veils that do not necessarily cover their face, although they can be used in that manner. The female body veil is worn in the indigenous African tradition as a wrap around. 


Women keep their veil in place by tying the cloth around their body, and tucking it in between other layers of textile. The Tuareg women traditionally use a veil weight as well, to weigh the textile down and prevent it from blowing in the desert winds. This is an elaborately decorated metal piece, made of different combined metals (below right and background image). The large loop at one end functions as a loop for the textile of the veil to be tied onto.


The textile used in the veils of both men and women are often coloured with indigo. Indigo is used as the main dye for the textiles of the Tuareg. This is why they are often referred to as the blue people. The indigo colour often leaves bluish stains on the skin. Tuareg are an indigenous African people, they wear body veils and wrap arounds, although in certain areas some women are found wearing a small faceveil.


(images by National Geographic and other unknown photographers)

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