Still known as desert dwellers, Kel Tamashek hadpracticed nomadic pastoralism for generations and had developed a livelihoodwith limited contacts with sedentary people. Series of droughts, socio-economic changes, and political conflicts from the early 1970s to mid-1990s have had aprofound impact on Kel Tamashek society in Mali. Most Kel Tamashek familieslost their animal herds, left the nomadic lifestyle and most moved to towns. Kel Tamashek people have numerous adjustments to maketo town life from simple change in habitation and diet to more profound issues of self-identity and social norms. Traditionally a hierarchical culture,each Kel Tamashek is assigned a specific role based on his/her social class. People from the Independent social class were considered superior and had social, economic and political privileges. The Bellah Tamashek were former slaves and excluded from many social privileges including education.