The Daza

Daza (Dassa) people of the Toubou enthnic group

The Daza (Dazaga, Dasa, Dazagara, Gouran, Gorane, Goran, Gourane), a Muslim people of Chad and Niger, are fierce and independent. The Daza and the Teda (Toda) are closely related groups within the Toubou (Tibu, Tibbu, Tebu, Tebou, Todga, Todaga, Toda, Tuda, Tubu, Umbararo) ethnic group. Although the Daza are traditionally herders of cattle, camels and goats. the Daza are well respected for their fighting (to which they are prone) and take pride in their reputation as warriors.The Daza are disliked and feared by some of their neighbors. 

The Daza live along the fringe of the Sahara Desert, which, through its relentless expanse, has destroyed many of their historical pasture lands. They have great endurance and the ability to go for long periods of time with little food or water.  Today,  Daza men find work in towns or cities while Daza women remain at home to cook and clean. Their primary income still comes from the selling of animals.

Many Daza, including women, carry daggers much like this one under the sleeves of their garments -- long wrap-around dresses and head coverings.  Men wear loose-fitting draw-string pants under long sleeve robes, concealing their own daggers.  Clothing is usually white, including turbans or small muslim caps.

The Daza are Islamic but like other tribes of the Sahara such as the Tuareg they incorporate animistic practices into their religious activities.  Animal sacrifice to obtain healing is common. Organized into tribes and clans, their tribal chiefs have little control over the clans although they do exercise some influence.

Map of Toubou areas showing regions where the Daza (Dassa) and Tedda (Teda, Toda) ethnic groups are located

Courtesy of Arnold Platon