This Has Nothing to Do With Volkswagen.
November 1, 2008 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Tuaregian band, Tinariwen, are members of a nomadic tribe in the Northwest of Africa which still practises slavery.
posted by gman (44 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
On the edge of the Sahara.
posted by gman at 2:14 PM on November 1, 2008


This band is awesome.
posted by thivaia at 2:16 PM on November 1, 2008


...which still practises commits slavery.

There. FTFY.
posted by reality at 2:42 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


If they're still practicing then they're not that good at it then the situation isn't that bad, amirite?
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:45 PM on November 1, 2008


Saw them in Boulder. I hope to make it to the Festival au Desert one of these days.

Is there any link between the members of Tinariwen and slavery? Alas, when a post has so many links, I usually don't click any of them. Too much choice, too little time.
posted by lukemeister at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2008


13 links (half of which are one letter - rawr), little explanation, and a hard to parse sentence. this is certainly the best of the web...

so this is a band? with ethnic ties to racism?
posted by nadawi at 3:10 PM on November 1, 2008


Tuaregian band ... which still practises slavery.

Nathan Explosion: "That's...so brutal!"
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:15 PM on November 1, 2008


There is no such word as "Tuaregian," which is only the beginning of the problems with this post. The adjective of Tuareg is Tuareg.

which still commits slavery

"Commits slavery" is not English, any more than "Tuaregian."
posted by languagehat at 3:17 PM on November 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've got their album: "Aman Iman: Water Is Life". They have a great sound. Excellent band. One of my faves right now. Thanks for the post!
posted by mrducts at 3:40 PM on November 1, 2008


Huh, a Tinariwen. Neat. I've been vaguely meaning to do something about them here for awhile now since it seems that no one I know even knows who they are. I've been a fan ever since I picked up their album Amassakoul at some point awhile back.

Look forward to poking through all these links and see what's in there.
posted by Stunt at 3:56 PM on November 1, 2008


If I am not mistaken, these people came up in a Jeopardy question on TV the other night.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:23 PM on November 1, 2008


Sorry. The formatting of my post is all sorts of fucked up. Do what you will. I apologize to languagehat ... because "all sorts of fucked up" is not English, any more than "Tuaregian."
posted by gman at 4:28 PM on November 1, 2008


Tuaregialese?
posted by gman at 4:30 PM on November 1, 2008


"Tuaregian" seems to be a reasonable mistake. It's one that's worth fixing because it has the potential to be offensive. However, it's not really one that's worth berating someone over.

reality's mock (or so it seemed to me) "correction" of "practices slavery" to "commits slavery" didn't strike me as intended to point out a small grammatical mistake, but rather as an attempt to paint the practice of slavery in the same light as other well-despised activities (often viewed as sins or crimes) like murder, rape, perjury, or adultery. I think the phrasing also serves to distance it from other distasteful activities that are seen by many as unfortunate cultural throwbacks (still bad, but perhaps viewed as more primitive than criminal) like ritual sacrifice and polygamy. If I'm reading this correctly, then it's not really relevant that "commits slavery" isn't proper English. It makes a point, and I think it does so in a fairly clever way.

However, I dislike the "fixed that for you" method of delivery. Unless the correction is very obviously intended as a joke (in this case, I think it is, but it's not obvious), the effect is often one of overpresumptious snobbery.
posted by ErWenn at 4:55 PM on November 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love them.
posted by mike3k at 5:04 PM on November 1, 2008


I've passed up doing an FPP on Tinariwen several times so I'm glad someone did it. They're really amazing stuff. Here's a few videos (the YT channel is the "n" in their name):

Live in Sweden
Documentary part 1
part 2
posted by sleepy pete at 5:24 PM on November 1, 2008


I've passed up doing an FPP on Tinariwen

Me Too!

so I'm glad someone did it.

Me too!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:45 PM on November 1, 2008


I hope all the people coming to Morocco mistakenly looking for Tuareg read some of this stuff first.

Also, I never heard them refer to themselves as Tuareg, unless speaking to tourists - they usually use an Amazigh or tribal name, such as Imuhagh.
posted by HopperFan at 6:35 PM on November 1, 2008


This post commits terrible style.
posted by signal at 7:32 PM on November 1, 2008


Good music! Thanks!
posted by nickyskye at 7:34 PM on November 1, 2008


This post sucks. Sorry.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 PM on November 1, 2008


Are the band involved somehow in the practice (I'm not going to use the ridiculously wrong word "commit" for something that is not a one-time distinct action by an individual but an ongoing practice by a group) of slavery?

If not, I don't really see why those links are there. Vaguely relevant I guess, but kind of like saying, "Led Zeppelin are an english band. Some english people are murderers!!!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:11 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, no, no. "Led Zeppelin are an English band. All English people have bad teeth!!!!"
posted by yhbc at 8:47 PM on November 1, 2008


You know, gman, I gotta say, delmoi is right. This post is really pretty spotty. Neither the Tuareg, as a people folks should know more about, nor Tinariwen, as a band people should know more about, are particularly well-served by your presentation. And drjimmy11 is absolutely right on the slavery point he makes just upthread. Are you implying that Tinariwen are slaveholders, or what? I'm not trying to beat up on you or anything, but you can probably do better next time.

Here's an interesting YT documentary on the Tuareg, from 1997: recommended for some insight into the current situation of some of the Tuareg in Mali who have had to give up their nomadic ways. It's a complicated story, and one that very few people ever hear about. I'm thinking that some of the interview footage with Tuareg in this doco was supposed to be translated as subtitles, but unfortunately there are none. Nevertheless, there's plenty of English narration, and this should be seen by anyone interested in the Tuareg. Though the story here is bleak, there is a bit of joy: a little tiny bit of music at the very end also shows women doing ululation, featuring some closeup shots that show the tongue technique required to ululate.

Also, check out this Tuareg Music Festival clip, to pick up some trad music flavor and a happier vibe than the Mali documentary. And this Tuareg song, which is also punctuated by plenty of ululation.

Also, the Tinariwen channel linked to (under "N" of the FPP) doesn't contain all (or even necessarily the best) that Tinariwen has to offer on YouTube. This TV appearance by Tinariwen is highly recommended. And this audio-only clip, featuring Toumast is totally slamming. Here's another take on Toumast, this time from Ikalane Walegh, and again, some live concert footage (various songs) of Ikalane Waleghs. Rocking.

There's a lot more out there, for those who want to explore further.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:02 PM on November 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


Spent the night in the hospital waiting for a frickin' spinal tap. Got up having really not slept, read an article on the band, checked out their music and then posted hastily. Again, my apologies.
posted by gman at 9:07 PM on November 1, 2008


In fact, might I suggest replacing flapjax at midnite's comment with my FPP. Don't even bother moving my post down to the comment section.
posted by gman at 9:08 PM on November 1, 2008


Thanks for the post about the band and about the wonderful Tuareg, the blue people of the desert, gman - although I did not know about the slavery issue. Add me to the list of those who considered posting about the band - I first learned about them when I posted about the Wodaabe, another nomadic tribe - in fact, some of the photos in the video clip are from Wodaabe ceremonies.

Another excellent Tuareg musician is Abdallah ag Oumbadougou who was featured in the documentary Desert Rebel - see/hear a great desert rebel clip here. And there is another Tuareg band Tidawt - here's a very recent clip from the Highline Ballroom in New York.

I'm happy to see the post, I grow increasingly fascinated with nomadic cultures. But I also understand the difficulties in posting about the various nomadic peoples of the area, information can be scarce and some of the tribes and peoples are often lumped together by outsiders in much the same way other African tribal peoples can be erroneously melded together in one amorphous group. Plus, the outside view is often gained during festivals and multi-clan gatherings such as the cure salee, so web-based photography and video clips often offer a compilation of several tribes, which can blur the distinctions. I am excited that music might provide a bridge to these little known cultures.

The Nomad Foundation offers more news and information about these ancient cultures, including ways to support them since they are among the poorest peoples in the world.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:12 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


gman, hope you are OK. I am glad you made the post, don't be down on yourself about it!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:15 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


In fact, might I suggest replacing flapjax at midnite's comment with my FPP. Don't even bother moving my post down to the comment section.

Hey, c'mon, like I said, I'm not trying to beat up on you, and I don't think you should beat up on yourself, either, gman. As mentioned, just try a little harder next time, don't post hastily! But everything's cool, man, ain't the end of the world.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:17 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ditto, gman, get better soon.
posted by lukemeister at 9:18 PM on November 1, 2008


flapjax, great comment, thanks - I posed mine before seeing yours. Can you correct the link for the documentary - that one erroneously links to a Studs Terkel post, and I would be interested in the documentary. Thanks for the great resources you added to the thread.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:21 PM on November 1, 2008


Ah, hell, Studs Terkel? That was for the Terkel obit thread! OK, here's the Tuareg doco link.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:30 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apropos of nothing, I've been wanting to get one of these robes for awhile.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 PM on November 1, 2008


Well then, B-stan, when you get your hands on one of those robes, you might also wannna do the scarf right. See you in the Sahara!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 PM on November 1, 2008


>>I've passed up doing an FPP on Tinariwen
> Me Too!

Me three! :-D

Saw them perform (gratitious self-link alert) in Singapore three years back, at WOMAD. Chatted them up as well; been big fans ever since!

Lots of good music coming in from Mali these days; picked this interesting compilation up a couple of months back (features Tinariwen, among other artistes) Muchos apologies for the Pepsi-Blue-ish nature of this link, but if it's any help, Putumayo is unaffiliated with the RIAA. Then again, it bears pointing out that Tinariwen is represented by Universal France.
posted by the cydonian at 12:37 AM on November 2, 2008


There is no such word as "Tuaregian," which is only the beginning of the problems with this post. The adjective of Tuareg is Tuareg.

Prescriptivism, in my metafilter?
It's more likely than you think!
posted by atrazine at 1:25 AM on November 2, 2008


hey, the cydonian, thanks for the heads up on the Putumayo release. Many of the names there are unfamiliar to me, even though I've kept a somewhat keen eye on Malian music over the years. I think I'd have to say, for a continent brimming with killer music (Africa), Mali is one of the top countries. Just so much great music has come out of that poor and landlocked land. Amazing.

And, hey, your own photo of the band under discussion is the kind of self-link that needs no apology whatsoever, my friend!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:29 AM on November 2, 2008


Prescriptivism, in my metafilter?

I'm going to try and use that word at least once a day now that I know what it means.
posted by gman at 5:21 AM on November 2, 2008


I love Tinariwen and have been listening to them compulsively for about a year now. The sound is so rich and beautiful and it's one of the first new things I've listened to for years that completely captivated me and sounded different from anything else I'd heard before.
posted by Maias at 5:30 AM on November 2, 2008


Prescriptivism, in my metafilter?

Not at all. Prescriptivism is claiming that some perfectly normal usage is "not English" or "bad English" because the prescriptivist doesn't like it. People end sentences with prepositions all the time and there's nothing wrong with the practice; to claim it's "incorrect" is prescriptivism. When I say "Tuaregian" isn't English, I mean nobody uses it. I googled it and got six hits.

Sorry to hear about your hospital experience, gman, and I hope you feel better soon!
posted by languagehat at 5:37 AM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apropos of nothing, I've been wanting to get one of these robes for awhile.

I always wear one to the meetups. The tagelmust helps keep the snark off my face.
posted by lukemeister at 7:35 AM on November 2, 2008


Prescription over the word prescriptivism. There, that's my one for the day.

Thanks! I am feeling much better. It wasn't as painful as people make it out to be.
posted by gman at 7:35 AM on November 2, 2008


I googled it and got six hits.

Our task is clear: Googlebombs away!
posted by aramaic at 8:54 PM on November 2, 2008


I love Aman Iman: Water is Life. It's been on high rotation on the iPod for a while. Thanks for the post. (Glad to hear the spinal tap wasn't too bad.)
posted by jokeefe at 9:41 PM on November 2, 2008


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