The Tuaregs are a large Berber ethnic confederation that inhabit the Sahara desert, stretching from southwestern Libya to Algeria, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The Tuaregs are known as the "blue people" for their indigo-dye colored clothes, and they are also known for their caste hierarchies, clans, and nomadic lifestyles. The Tuaregs adhere to Sunni Islam and have the same culture, but they are a mixture of Berber and African cultures. The black-skinned eklan/bella Tuaregs are descended from the slaves of high-status Tuaregs, while the light-skinned and turban-wearing targui are descended from the Berbers of North Africa. The Tuaregs are divided into numerous tribes, clans, and hereditary statuses, having a total population of around 2,500,000 in 2009. 2,000,000 lived in Niger, 500,000 in Mali, 50,000 in Burkina Faso, 25,000-150,000 in Algeria (1987), 20,000 in Libya (1993), 4,500 in Morocco (1984), and 2,000 in Tunisia (1987).

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