The Toubou initially formed a warrior society governed by the oguza, the ancient warriors who defended the country against external invasion in the pre-colonial era. This was the time of nogusé, or the heroic spirit.
Later, when France conquered the country, thereby eliminating external threats, a new era of peace and security dawned. The population was then able to circulate freely within the country, to trade or to hold celebrations. This was the period of the halagana or elegant young people. Travelling in caravans, mounted on lavishly adorned camels and carrying behind them young girls ululating, the halagana went from place to place dancing and enjoying themselves.
Following their example, the oga (single women) led a similar lifestyle. They had their own private residences where guests were received freely. Young people from all horizons visited the oga’s homes hoping to gain fame by their generosity and eloquent speech. This was the time of halagan or “elegant facts”.
Today, oguza, halagana and oga belong to a bygone age. However, the “words and deeds” recalling the history of these characters continue to be part of the oral tradition, in the form of songs and stories that we were able to gather, transcribe and translate in the context of our research.
19 April 2005