Nemadi people


Nemadi / Nmadi / Ikoku

The Nemadi (Ikoku) are small hunting tribe of of 400. Nemadi people are mainly hunters. Subsistence farming and animal herding are also part of their lives.

According to some sources, their language is a dialect of Hassaniyya. According to others a mixture of Zenaga, Soninke and Hassaniyya. The name "Nemadi" itself appears to come from Soninke, where it means "master of dogs."

In the arid West African country of Mauritania, the way of life of the traditional group of hunters known as the Nemadi is slowly disappearing.
Experts say the small ethnic group of black Mauritanians, also known as N’Madi, now numbers in the hundreds at most, their livelihoods hit by repeated droughts and declining game.
Those that are left mostly scour the desert for ostriches, oryxes and white antelope to hunt.

More and more Nemadi have given up their old ways since the great drought in the Sahel region in the 1970s. True hunter-gathers are now few and far between.
In Loudeyatt, one of the nomadic Nemadi’s campsites, a dozen tents are home to about 50 people, and a few bleating goats. There is also a French-language school, although it has few supplies.
The Nemadi have few physical possessions and traditionally, no livestock.
They are marginalized in wider Mauritanian society for their poverty, according to experts.


Nemadi (Ikoku) are located in eastern Mauritania.


Nemadi (Ikoku) people are 65 percent Islamic, and 35 percent practice only traditional religion.