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The Tuareg people (also spelt Twareg or Touareg; endonym: Kel Tamasheq, Kel Tagelmust) are a large Berber ethnic confederation. They principally inhabit the Sahara in a vast area stretching from far southwestern Libya to southern Algeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. Traditionally nomadic pastoralists, small groups of Tuareg are also found in northern Nigeria.
The Tuareg speak the Tuareg languages (also known as Tamasheq), which belong to the Berber branch of the Afroasiatic family.
The Tuaregs have been called the "blue people" for the indigo-dye coloured clothes they traditionally wear and which stains their skin. A semi-nomadic Muslim people, they are believed to be descendants of the Berber natives of North Africa. The Tuaregs have been one of the ethnic groups that have been historically influential in the spread of Islam and its legacy in North Africa and the adjacent Sahel region.
Tuareg society has traditionally featured clan membership, social status and caste hierarchies within each political confederation. The Tuareg have controlled several trans-Saharan trade routes and have been an important party to the conflicts in the Saharan region during the colonial and post-colonial era.