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  Caravan

Anthropologist Ingrid Poulsen heard the story of the womenʼs caravan from a friend while she was working for Danida in Niger. The journey to Fachi goes through extremely difficult desert territory that can only be forced with camels. No cars can get through. In Fachiʼs oases the women collect dates, which they bring with them and sell on in the markets.

Ingrid Poulsen had met Tuareg-women that have travelled with male companions over 1000ʼs of kilometres but she had never before heard about a caravan led solely by women. The question of why the women choose to do this was challenging as a mystery and inspired her to explore, what was happening in this society.

The trip through the desert normally takes around two weeks. On the way the caravan passes wells distanced 2, 3 and 4 daysʼ journey from each other. Even though the location of the wells are known, it is easy to miss them in the
enormous sand dunes, which move every year and shape new formations. With a possible marching pace of between 30 and 50 km a day, even a mistake of 1 km can have disastrous consequences.

We travel out at the end of August 2004, 6 weeks and many hardships later we are back in the capital of Niger, Niamey.
     
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