Mohamad Be Hadani
On the third day my itinerary is to visit a Touareg family. The weather in the evening normally after 4.00pm is quite good, as the sun not hot as at noon and with the wind blowing indeed it is the right time to promenade.
As scheduled with my tour guide, Al-Hadi Toure came around 5.00pm. I proceeded with him to visit Mohamad Be Hadani family.
Mohamad showing his skill in handicrafts making
Mohamad’s came from a village about 250km north of Timbuktu in the Sahara Desert. Normally he comes to Timbuktu twice in a year for barter trading. He will brings salt slabs, goats or cattle for exchange with rice, flour, millet, sugar etc. Besides that his family also sells Touareg’s jewelery and handicrafts.
Mohamad also a blacksmith making sword and knife
The Touareg are sometimes called the “Blue People” because the indigo pigment in the cloth of their traditional robes and turbans stained the wearer’s skin dark blue. The traditional indigo turban is still preferred for celebrations, and generally Touaregs wear clothing and turbans in a variety of colors.
Mohamad Be Hadani’s products. His price is expensive. You have to bargains. As touareg tradition, the price bargaining also takes three times or three offer prices
Much Touareg art is in the form of jewelery, leather and metal saddle decorations called Trik, and finely crafted swords. Among their products are: Tanaghilt or Zakkat (the ‘Agadez Cross’ or ‘Croix d’Agadez’); the Touareg Takoba, many beautiful gold and silver-made necklaces called ‘Takaza‘; and earrings called ‘Tizabaten‘
As Touareg tradition, Mohamad offers me touareg tea. The serving of mint tea is a ceremonial form, especially when prepared for a guest. Whereas cooking is women’s business, the tea is a male affair: the head of family prepares it and serves to the guest, usually three glasses of tea.
Mohamad’s wife and daughter
Preparation of touareg tea normally of green tea (usually Chinese tea, e.g. gunpowder, chun mee, or zhu cha), fresh mint leaves in large quantity and a lot of sugar. The tea is first put in the teapot and adding a small quantity of boiling water, that is poured out after one minute, to makes the tea tasted less bitter. Mint and sugar are added. Tea and water then heated until its boiling. After three to five minutes, a glass is served and poured back in the pot two to three times, in order to mix the tea. Tea is poured into glasses from height in order to swirl loose tea leaves to the bottom of the glass.
Mohamad pumping air to make the charcoal burns
Drinking of three small cups of touareg tea having the meaning as the saying “the first cup is sweet for strength; the second is sweet for life; and the third is sweet for love”.
Serving the touareg tea
To my friends out there who always asked for beautiful touareg’s girl, sorry to tell you, Mohamad did not wish to discuss about that with me, probably I am not handsome and rich enough. But to console you all, here is the photo of one and the most beautiful touareg girl from Timbuktu.
(Sorry friends, it is only a reproduction from Malitel’s table calendar that I found in Hotel Bouctou’s reception desk)