Tin Hinan Festival : A Tribute To The Legendary Taureg Queen

The oasis city of Tamanrasset in southern Algeria will once again host the Tin Hinan Festival in 2009. The organizers of the event, Ahaggar’s Friends Association, have confirmed that twenty-six African countries, along with Arab and European countries will feature in the festival which is to be held on 23-24 February 2009. Chairman of the Ahaggar’s Friends Association, Samadat Chikh, noted that the festival will highlight the Taureg culture while at the same time focusing on women, in honor of Queen Tin Hinan.

While the Tin Hinan Festival is primarily a cultural event, it aims to promote Algeria as a tourist destination to visitors from all over the world, thereby having a positive impact on the local economy. The venue for the festival, the oasis of Abalessa, incorporates the tomb of legendary Queen Tin Hinan, a powerful matriarch who is said to have been the first leader to unite the Tuareg nation. This Tuareg heroine is believed to have traveled, together with her maid-servant, from the Tafilalt oasis located in the Atlas Mountains of what is now modern Morocco, settling in the Ahaggar mountains of Algeria where she established her kingdom, becoming the first Queen (Tamenokalt) of the Tuaregs. To this day the Tuareg people refer to Tin Hinan as the “Mother of Us All” and her tomb is one of the main tourist attractions in southern Algeria.

In keeping with the focus being on women, a highlight of the Tin Hinan Festival will be a beauty contest. Moreover, the festival will showcase a wealth of historic relics, including ancestral cemeteries, rock drawings and traditional houses, as well as traditional cooking and arts and crafts. The splendor of the oases of Tamanrasset will be highlighted, and are sure to be of special interest to visitors from non-desert countries. Previous Tin Hinan Festivals have featured countries such as Mozambique, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, all of which anticipate returning for the 2009 event.

If you plan to visit Algeria, why not do so in February and include the fascinating Tin Hinan Festival on your list of things to do and see.