Livestock production is a significant economic activity for the country. It is carried on everywhere by the Peuls, nomadic herders since pre-history it is said (cave paintings from Tassili in the Sahara). The animals that have best adapted to the desert climate of sparse vegetation and long distances are goats, sheep and especially zebus (cattle originally from India with a muscular hump).

The Peuls count their wealth by the number of cattle they own, only leaving them in emergencies. Women sell milk from their cows which they have curdled. (Milk prepared this way, with sugar and water, is served fresh as a welcome in villages in the Senegal Valley.) They also make a liquid butter in a sort of gourd churn or in containers made from goats skins.

Feeding the animals is a major problem and shepherds have to move depending on the available plant life and watering places. They go to the wells to water their animals. In many villages there are still no pumps so both men and women draw water. The container used to raise water from the bottom of the well is often a skin stitched into a tube with an iron band sewn around the top to keep the top of the waterskin open.
Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily"
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