Introduction / History The Igdalen are a fair skinned people living in centers around the three important sites of Tamaya, Mazababu and Tegurwit and as far north as Ingal. Formerly, they were livestock herders living a nomadic lifestyle but some have changed to trading and gardening as alternative sources of income. As trade plays a larger role in their lives, the men have become increasingly bilingual in Hausa and Tamajaq, the important languages along the North-South trade routes. Use of these languages is limited to trade and it is rare that a woman would learn either. They call their own language Tagdal.
Formal education has not and does not play a major role in the lives of the Igdalen. Schools within a reasonable proximity have only recently been available. As with many isolated groups, they are suspicious of formal education and tend not to send their children to school. Formal Koranic schooling is prevalent, especially for boys and young men. Resistance to religious change is high. It appears that the Igdalen are 100% Muslim. They are a largely closed group, but seem open to outside help insofar as it meets their perceived needs such as improved farming methods and better medical care. Like related groups, they show their solidarity by rarely marrying outside their ethnic group.