Men Who Wear the Veil

During my recent trip to the Aïr Mountains of northern Niger, Tuareg musicians welcomed us to Timia, an isolated oasis town nestled between steep mountains. According to Tuareg custom, men begin “wearing the veil” at age 18 to protect themselves from evil djinns, or spirits, that enter the body through the mouth. Conversely, a woman’s tent protects her from djinns, so she does not need to cover her face.

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