Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sketches from Francis Nicolas

Francis Nicholas was a French colonial administrator who spent a considerable amount of time in the region around Tahoua, Niger, traveling through the valley of Azawagh and other parts of the Tamesna (the customary pasture for many Tamasheq groups). He wrote an ethnography called Tamesna: Les Ioulemmenden de l’Est ou Touareg « Kel Dinnik » (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale), 1950. The work itself is but a sample of all the information he gathered regarding the society of the Kel Dinnik and does not contain many of the sketches he made traveling through the Tamesna in 1944 when employed by the colonial service. I post them here for those interested in the views of these villages back in the 1940s. The source is in French: Documentation Française, Notes et Documents 2112 (Dossier 02).