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Tin Hinan, the Queen of the Algerian Tuareg

    The Tuareg society is matriarchal by excellence. According to the Tuareg oral traditions, it is the female descendants that are retained because of the status of women in the Tuareg societies. Tin Hinan is the legendary ancestor of the Hoggar noble Tuaregs. It is a woman of legend, who is known today through the Tuareg oral tradition that describes her as "an irresistibly beautiful, tall woman with a flawless face, a clear complexion, immense eyes and ardent, with a fine nose, the whole evoking both the beauty and the authority who took up arms to defend her people and the ideals of her country against the roman conquest in the 4th and 5th century ". Its name means in Tamasheq (the Tuareg language), "the one that moves" or" that comes from far away" or "the traveler".  The Tin Hinan monument occupies the top of a hill on the left bank of the Oued Tifirt near the oasis of Abalessa in the Hoggar in the Algerian Sahara. The skeleton of Tin Hinan is exhibited at the Bardo Museum in Algiers. 

     It is very difficult beyond the Tuareg oral traditions to find information on the life and existence of the Queen Tin Hinan in modern scientific and historical works. Tin Hinan is described as the mother of the Hoggar Tuaregs; yet other accounts bring down all Tuaregs of a single woman, named Lemtouna. She leaves her original environment and travels in a caravan through mountains and valleys to finally reach a magnificent region: the Oasis of Abalessa, capital of the Hoggar (near Tamanrasset). Several historians claim that Tin Hinan and his companions did not need to fight to conquer and enjoy this territory. Indeed, it had become practically uninhabited then, that once it was very populated by the Isebeten, people having almost disappeared already in the time of Tin Hinan. However, it meets the people Kel Ahaggar, survivor of this region, whose king the Amenokal (chief) Ag Aumeris has just died. Tin Hinan, therefore, reigned over the region and had three daughters. Tin Hinan is the Amenokal (possessor of the country), the queen of this small people in the process of creation, possessed the finest palm groves. 

    Thus, Tin Hinan remains a real queen of legend that prefigures modern women, capable of creating life, transmitting a culture, pacifying relations. Moreover, she is considered the greatest source of inspiration and the undisputed matrix of stories, poems, songs and stories transmitted within the different Tuareg tribes. 

Tin Hinan, the Queen of the Algerian Tuareg(Written by ARAB Sabrina)

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