The largest group of people who inhabited the Sahara Desert are called Tauregs. Descended from Berbers in the region that is now Libya, the Tuareg are descendants of ancient Saharan peoples described by Herodotus, who mentions the ancient Libyan people, the Garamantes. Archaeological testimony is the ruins of Germa. Later, they expanded southward, into the Sahel.
For over two millennia, the Tuareg operated the trans-Saharan caravan trade connecting the great cities on the southern edge of the Sahara via five desert trade routes to the northern Mediterranean coast of Africa.
The Tuareg adopted camel nomadism along with its distinctive form of social organization from camel-herding Arabs about two thousand years ago, when the camel was introduced to the Sahara from Arabia.
Many Tuareg today are either settled agriculturalists or nomadic cattle breeders, though there are also blacksmiths and caravan leaders.
The Tuareg are matrilineal, though not matriarchal. Unlike many Muslim societies, women do not traditionally wear the veil, whereas men do. Tuareg people have very personal marriages; there 's an unspoken law about other people not interfering with marriage.