the tuareg are a nomadic people who live in the semi-arid sahel and arid sahara in an area that overlaps with the modern nations of mali, niger, nigeria, burkina faso, algeria and libya. in mali and niger they are primarily occupied raising cattle, goats, sheep and camels. tuareg culture dates back centuries - it is a feudal culture characterized by the social organization of class. they often described as light-skinned, and are often referred to as the "blue men" because the men wear distinctive indigo-dyed robes and veils. most are muslim, however, they are not strict observers of islamic custom. even today, most tuareg would probably not identify themselves as malian or nigerian with their identity being associated with their individual tribe or to the larger tuareg population. during the seventies and eighties a severe drought caused the death of their cattle and camels and caused the tuareg to live mostly in one area and not move around.