Tuareg society is traditionally feudal, with five castes: nobles, vassals, holy men, artisans, and laborers (former slaves). The Tuareg are traditionally monogamous and have a matrilineal system of inheritance. In this they differ sharply from their Berber kinsmen, the Arabs, and most other sub-Saharan peoples.
Most Tuaregs of the Azawak have retained a fully nomadic existence and herd cattle, camels, goats, and sheep. They reside in camps ranging from 50 to 150 people and live in tents of wooden poles covered with a red dyed goat hide tarp.
During the rainy season, they move camp every three to four days in search for the greenest pastures for their livestock. During the dry season, they move often to find water, but prefer to stay in the vicinity of their “home territory”, land passed down from one generation to the next.
Sedentary Tuareg villages grow more and more common as livestock herds shrink. This phenomenon is greatly due to climate change that has caused shorter and shorter rainy seasons and longer periods of drought, and hence fewer pastures for the animals to graze. Without animals to provide milk and meat, or a means of bartering for trade goods, the nomads settle into small villages of 100 to 300 people and attempt to live off of sustenance agriculture, mostly growing the grains millet and sorghum. These sedentary populations abandon their villages during the harshest months of the dry season when they too must travel from one distant source of water to another.
the Tuareg people represent a Saharan offshoot of the Berbers, who have resided in North Africa for several millennia.