This extraordinary book is the first to be published about a unique and colourful people the Wodaabe of Niger, in sub-Saharan Africa. The Wodaabe are amongst the last true nomads in Africa, indeed in the world. The landscape in which they live is a harsh one. Between the Sahara desert and the grasslands further south lies a no-man s land, an immense steppe scattered with scrawny bushes and skeletal trees. For nine months of the year hardly a drop of rain falls on this steppe and the harmattan, the hot wind out of the desert, blows relentlessly. Across this inhospitable plain the Wodaabe herd their cattle, migrating north in the rainy season and south again in the dry months. Taking the form of a narrative that follows one particular family, that of a herdsman named Mokao, the book combines Marion van Offelen s scholarly text with stunning colour photographs by Carol Beckwith.
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