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Tishoumaren, Tishumaren, Tichoumaren, or Tichumaren, (ⵜⵉⵛⵓⵎⴰⵔⴻⵏ in Neo-Tifinagh script) is a style of music in northern Africa. Critics describe the music as a mix of blues music and North African music.Various terms are used to describe it, including assouf, desert rock, takamba, Tuareg rock.
The musical style took shape as an expression of the difficult sociopolitical situation of the Tamasheq people (or Tuareg, as they are commonly referred to by others) after colonial powers left North Africa. The word Tishoumaren is derived from the French word chômeur , meaning "the unemployed". Sometimes simply called "guitar music,"the style takes inspiration from the emergence of the Tamasheq as a people and a culture amidst violent turmoil in post-colonial North Africa.
The Tamasheq live in a region of North Africa that covers large portions of the Sahara across the modern-day national boundaries of Mali, Algeria, Niger, Libya, and Chad, and to a lesser extent, reaching into Burkina Faso and Nigeria. At the turn of the 20th century, the Tamasheq were subjected to French colonial government after lengthy resistance. With the departure of colonial powers in the 1950s and 1960s, the lands inhabited by the Tamasheq were split primarily between the four new countries of Mali, Algeria, Niger, Libya, and Chad. For the next few decades, natural resources diminished due to increasing desertification while the post-colonial political and economic structures struggled. As a result, the Tamasheq have encountered hardship for survival in a number of ways.
In 1973, a major drought forced many of the Tamasheq people throughout the deserts to reconsider their traditional way of life as nomadic herders. Many took refuge in urban centers across the region, but with many lacking 'formal' education, the Tamasheq were largely unemployed. The term ishumar began to be used describing young Tamasheq. A unique culture began to arise among many of the economically and politically marginalized youths, sometimes rebellious or revolutionary in nature, reasserting a cultural pride.
Many young men took employment in a Tamasheq military unit being assembled by Libyan military leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Besides receiving military training and weapons in the Gaddafi-sponsored camps, many of the young Tamasheq men were also exposed to revolutionary ideas, pan-Africanism, and popular music. In the decades to follow, the Tamasheq were involved in extended episodes of violence and rebellion against the various governments in the region, both as victim and perpetrator. The stories of socio-political unrest have been relayed through music, contributing to and partially shaping the Tamasheq people's culture and ideals.
The music of the young, uprooted men who often wandered from town to town was guitar-driven, first acoustic and then electric. These were the men referred to as ishumar, a term derived from the French word chômeur , a derogatory term for an unemployed person. The originators of the musical genre were Tinariwen, a group of musicians within camps sponsored by Gaddafi who formed their group in 1979. [ citation needed ]Tinariwen was the first Tamasheq group to feature electric guitars; they are considered the originator of the style. During rebellion against the government of Mali, Tinariwen's music was spread via audio cassette through the camps. In the early 1990s the group began to gain wider exposure through association with the French band Lo'jo. Additional distribution methods and festivals aided in increasing the styles popularity. As a result, other bands began to incorporate the style.
The style mixes electric blues with Middle Eastern and African sounds.
The Tuareg people are a large Berber ethnic confederation. They principally inhabit the Sahara in a vast area stretching from far southwestern Libya to southern Algeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. Traditionally nomadic pastoralists, small groups of Tuareg are also found in northern Nigeria.
The Music of Mali is, like that of most African nations, ethnically diverse, but one influence predominates; that of the ancient Mali Empire of the Mandinka. Mande people make up 50% of the country's population, other ethnic groups include the Fula (17%), Gur-speakers 12%, Songhai people (6%), Tuareg and Moors (10%) and another 5%, including Europeans. Mali is divided into eight regions; Gao, Kayes, Koulikoro, Mopti, Ségou, Sikasso, Tombouctou and Bamako.
The music of Niger has developed from the musical traditions of a mix of ethnic groups; Hausa, the Zarma Songhai people, Tuareg, Fula Kanuri, Toubou, Diffa Arabs and Gurma and the Boudouma from Lac Chad.
Tinariwen is a group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band was formed in 1979 in Tamanrasset, Algeria, but returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in 2001 with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions, and with performances at Festival au Désert in Mali and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Their popularity rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007. NPR calls the group "music's true rebels", AllMusic deems the group's music "a grassroots voice of rebellion", and Slate calls the group "rock 'n' roll rebels whose rebellion, for once, wasn't just metaphorical".
From 1990 to 1995, a rebellion by various Tuareg groups took place in Niger and Mali, with the aim of achieving autonomy or forming their own nation-state. The insurgency occurred in a period following the regional famine of the 1980s and subsequent refugee crisis, and a time of generalised political repression and crisis in both nations. The conflict is one in a series of Tuareg-based insurgencies in the colonial and post-colonial history of these nations. In Niger, it is also referred to as the Second or Third Tuareg Rebellion, a reference to the pre-independence rebellions of Ag Mohammed Wau Teguidda Kaocen of the Aïr Mountains in 1914 and the rising of Firhoun of Ikazkazan in 1911, who reappeared in Mali in 1916. In fact the nomadic Tuareg confederations have come into sporadic conflict with the sedentary communities of the region ever since they migrated from the Maghreb between the 7th and 14th centuries CE. Some Tuareg wished for an independent Tuareg Nation to be formed when French Colonialism ended. This combined with dissatisfaction over the new governments led some Tuareg in Northern Mali to rebel in 1963.
The Azalai is a semi-annual salt caravan route practiced by Tuareg traders in the Sahara desert between Timbuktu and the Taoudenni salt mine in Mali, or the act of traveling with a caravan along that route.
The Iwellemmedan (Iwəlləmədǎn), also spelled Iullemmeden, Aulliminden, Ouilliminden, Lullemmeden, and Iwellemmeden, are one of the seven major Tuareg tribal or clan confederations. Their communities are historically nomadic and intermixed with other ethnic groups. The Iwellemmeden inhabit a wide area ranging from east and north central Mali, through the Azawagh valley, into northwestern Niger and south into northern Nigeria. While once a single confederation of dozens of Tuareg clans, subject peoples, and allied groups, since the 18th century they have been divided into Kel Ataram (west) and Kel Dinnik (east) confederations. Following colonial rule and independence, the Iwellemmedan homelands cross the Mali/Niger border, and their traditional seasonal migration routes have spread Iwellemmedan communities into Burkina Faso and Nigeria as well. They speak the Tawellemmet variant of the Tamasheq language, although some current or historical sub-clans speak other Tamasheq variants as well as Songhai languages and Arabic dialects.
Tartit are a band from the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The group consists of five women and four men, all of whom are Tamasheq-speaking Tuareg. They formed in 1992 in a refugee camp in Mauritania. Imharhan, an expanded group that includes current and former Tartit members, incorporates electric instruments and cross-cultural experiments into their music.
The Islamic Legion was a Libyan-sponsored pan-Arabist paramilitary force, created in 1972. The Legion was part of Muammar Gaddafi's dream of creating the Great Islamic State of the Sahel.
The Kaocen revolt was a Tuareg rebellion against French colonial rule of the area around the Aïr Mountains of northern Niger during 1916–17.
The Ikelan are a caste within Tuareg society, who were at one time slaves or servile communities. While the Ikelan now speak the same language as the Tuareg nobles and share many customs, they are of assimilated Nilotic origin rather than of Berber heritage like the ethnic Tuareg. They also often live in communities separated from other castes.
Omara "Bombino" Moctar is a Nigerien singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music is sung in Tamasheq and often address geopolitical concerns in Turag. He is also a lead member of Group Bombino. Bombino is the subject of the documentary film Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion.
Tamikrest is a group of musicians who belong to the Tuareg people. The band was founded in 2006 in Tamanrasset, Algeria. They mix traditional African music with Western rock and pop influences and sing in Tamashek. Main songwriter and leader of the band is Ousmane Ag Mossa.
Tassili is the fifth album by the Tuareg-Berber band Tinariwen, recorded in Tassili n'Ajjer, an Algerian national park in 2011. The album marked a major departure from previous recordings. The producer, Ian Brennan, stated that it "was the least overdubbed, most live, band-centric and song-oriented record they have done.”
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad or the Azawad National Liberation Movement, formerly the National Movement of Azawad, is a political and military organisation based in Azawad in northern Mali.
Mohamed Ag Najem is the chief of staff of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) army.
Mdou Moctar is a Tuareg songwriter and musician based in Agadez, Niger, and is one of the first musicians to perform modern electronic adaptations of Tuareg guitar music. He first became famous through a subtle trading network of cellphones and memory cards in West Africa.
Emmaar is the sixth album by the Tuareg band Tinariwen, released in 2014. Emmaar is a Tuareg word meaning "the heat on the breeze". It is their first full album not to be recorded in northern Africa.
Orphans of the Sahara is a three-part documentary series, produced by Al Jazeera, and aired on January 2014. Series follows the story of the Tuareg people of the Sahara desert, from their involvement in war in Libya, fighting for Muammar Gaddafi, to their return home to crushing poverty in Mali and Niger, then as they launched a Tuareg Rebellion of 2012 for an independent country in the Sahara, Azawad. As the Northern Mali conflict escalated their dreams were crushed once again, first by al-Qaeda, then by French military intervention in Mali and Niger, with a help of military coalitions established by EU nations and US.
Kel Assouf is a Tuareg musical group making "Tuareg rock" with electronic influences. The band's singer, songwriter, and guitarist is Anana Harouna; their producer and keyboard player is Sofyann Ben Youssef. "Kel Assouf", in Tamasheq, means "nostalgia" and "son of eternity".
This new style of music - assouf, guitare, al gitara, teshumara, desert blues, Tuareg rock - call it what you will