Monday, October 04, 2010

A Tuareg Wedding – No party is complete without food!

Every party here to some extent revolves around food. Huge pots of rice and sauce are most common. You can come to an all day affair and be there for many hours and leave just 10 minutes before the food and they are bothered by that. However if you show up only 10 minutes before the food, eat the food, and leave shortly after- you are ok.

Interestingly enough, this very poor Tuareg family had hired out help for the day from three Zarma women who came and did all the cooking! The one Zarma woman kept coming over to me to ask for “cadeau cadeau” (money present).

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There were 4 huge cauldrons of food. Two of them had rice in them. Here are the other two. One has tomatoes and oil and veggies and pieces of meat in it.

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The other had a traditional Tuareg dish called Moxfe. It is made up of ground millet, oil, milk and a few other things. It is cooked until it is the consistency of lumpy porridge. It tastes strangely a little fishy too. Can’t say this is a personal favorite, but we eat what we are served!

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When the food was all ready, many women got up to help pile it onto 20 or more platters to be passed around. Every plate was piled high and distributed to small little groups gathered in a circle to eat together.weddingfood6webweddingfood8web

There was very little waste. Most platters were wiped completely clean with a multitude of fingers dipping, smearing and grabbing the food.

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What little was left on a platter was put into a covered container and served later in the evening as a snack while we waited for the groom’s entourage to appear. Yummy! I have mostly mastered eating with my hands, but I admit I still like a spoon when offered! The main reason being- it is hot! The steaming rice and boiling sauce they mush in their hands like it is easy, but it burns my hands! And then they all laugh at the wimpy hands the white girls have. haha!

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I mentioned the groom’s entourage right? Well that part of the story is coming next!

 

Also- I forgot to add in the last blog a picture of the dancing! It traditional Tuareg party style, the young people gather in a music tent and get up in small groups to shuffle back in forth. Not very lively- but they are fairly reserved about those kinds of things. They even made Rebecca get up there!

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