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 women 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, 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 colored with indigo. Indigo is used as the main dye for the textiles of the Tuareg. This is why they are often called the blue people. The indigo color often leaves bluish stains on the skin.
(images on this page are not made by us. Some of them are made by National Geographic and other unknown photographers)