Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Imoshagh (singular, Amoshagh), the "Free" or "Noble," collective name of the south-western Tuaregs, often applied in a general way to edl the Saharan Berbers. [Tuaregs.] The Imoshagh, who are the Limtuna (Lamtuna) of mediaeval Arab writers, form four distinct groups of independent confederate tribes, who are carefully to be distinguished from the Imghad (plural of Amghi), that is, the degraded or mixed Berbers of the desert, mostly living in a state of servitude to the Nobles, The four great historical groups are: - (1) The Awelimmiden proper, with twenty-two main divisions, besides forty servile and five religious tribes (Marabouts), jointly occupying most of the southwest Sahara, as far south as Timbuktu and the great northern bend of the Niger. (2) The Awelimmiden- Wdn-Bodhal, called also Dinnik, greatly reduced, and now mainly confined to the district between the Niger and Asben (Air), where they form a petty independent state in alliance with the Kel-Gueres. (3) Tademeliket, also reduced and driven by the Awelimmiden to the districts of Azwad north of the Niger and to the tract within the Niger bend as far south as the Hombori Hills. The latter, collectively called Irighenaten ("Mixed"), have quite lost caste, many having contracted alliances with the Fulahs and Negroid Songhays, whose speech they have even in some cases adopted. To this group are attached four religious and eight servile tribes. (4) The Igueldd, a religious group dependent for their defence on the Tademekkets, and settled chiefly in Tagetnet between Azwad and Timbuktu north and south. The

Imoshagh, of whom there are altogether at least a hundred minor divisions, are all pastoral, raising large herds of camels, cattle, and horses. The warriors fight on horseback with lance, sword, and shields, and generally levy blackmail on all trading caravans passing through their territory. All wear the lintham or veil, concealing a great part of the face, originally as a protection against the sands of the desert, but now regarded as a sacred emblem never to be laid aside, even at night. (Barth, Travels, vols. iv. and v. passim).