All posts tagged: aromatherapy

Scent As A Sanctuary: Aromatherapy Amongst The Tuareg

Plants have always played a vital role in the physical emotional and spiritual well being of human kind. The Tuareg of Niger are an example of a people for whom scent plays a major role in everyday life, exchange and kinship. The Taureg are a nomadic people largely scattered across North / Northwest Africa. They can be found in Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Libya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Tunisa, Algeria and Niger. The Tuareg are instantly recognisable as the ‘blue men’ due to the blue cotton turbans/garment (tagelmust) the men wear to protect their faces from the harsh sandy terrain. The Tuareg speak Tamacheq, are largely of Amazigh ethnicity and form a system of clan membership largely practising the religion of Islam. The Tuareg of Niger like many other civilisations before them heavily use the power of aroma, aromatherapy and scent as a part of their sociocultural systems and local sociability. Anthropologist Susan Rasmussen in her 1999 paper ‘Making better scents in Anthropology’ analyses culture from the underexplored standpoint of the circulation of aromas. In her essay, …