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Daza (Dazaga) People

by EJD

Slurping his strong, sweet tea, the old Daza man told stories of their nomadic life of yesteryears to a group of wide-eyed children in the rural camp. They listened to his animated narrative of traveling through the Sahara Desert under a sweltering sun. Every wrinkle on his creased face is a testament to the life of adventure and hardships that he and his people had once lived. His eyes began to well up with tears as he looked around the small camp. To him the camp was a reminder of the fact that his Daza people were being forced to give up their nomadic lifestyle because of a recent spate of droughts that had destroyed the pastureland that their cattle needed.

Even though they are poor, the Islamic Daza people lay a lot of emphasis on giving alms. Many Daza people are diligent in participating in daily prayers and the month long fast of Ramadan. Nearly all Daza people are Muslims, but their religious activity also reflects pre-Islamic beliefs that non-human objects also have spirits.

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