ENTRANCE TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE AYR: This is my childhood friend Fatima’s son, and her home, in my Ayr village of Talat. If you read yesterday’s post, you will know that Fati and I were childhood playmates, and her mother was my mom’s best friend. This photo is representative of Talat, which lies at the foothills of the Ayr Mountains. The huts are made of wood and woven mats, and gates made of wood and sticks delineate one concession from another.
The Touaregs of Talat are mostly of the Inadan or craftsmen cast. They make jewelry, carve stone, craft leather pouches and bags, and build camel saddles, among other things. The men of Talat are also known as skilled tailors and embroiderers; their fine embroidered designs can be found far and wide on the traditional clothing of women throughout the Ayr.
The villagers of Talat are also herders and gardeners. They primarily grow onions and dates, which they sell throughout Niger. The beautiful gardens and river oueds surrounding the small village, along with the mountains hovering on all sides, provide a sense of endless beauty and serenity.