Baydan of Mauritania

The Baydan are partly of Berber origin, like the Tuaregs, but they also claim Arab origins and are willingly attached to the Prophet. Like their Saharan neighbors, they are great camel nomads, formerly masters of the caravan trade. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they established mighty emirates, who have been remembered as famous warriors but also as scholars and men of religion.

Constituting 70% of the population of Mauritania in 1970, the real nomads – now limited to 250,000 individuals – now represent only 10% as a result of strong movements of sedentarization and urbanization.