Famous Sword with a Story to Tell
I was working on writing down some of the oral histories on the Tamajaq people in our area in order to encourage literacy. I was in a village named Suraka, and a prominent Muslim priest told me the story of the battle of Galma. It was a battle between the Tamajaq warriors and the French soldiers around 1900. The French had rifles while the Tamajaq only had swords. It was avery one-sided battle.
As the story goes, the morning before the now famous battle, a Muslim priest had prayers with the Tamajaq warriors and told them, "Today you die and you will go to Paradise."
The priest's prediction about their deaths was largely fulfilled. The hill on which the battle took place is now barren. They said that it was once a lush hill, but so much blood was shed on it that it is now dead.
The leader of the Tamajaq warriors, Elmaqtar,evidently led the charge toward the French. He was shot dead, but before went down he killed one of theFrench soldiers with sword that this man is now holding. This famous sword is more than 100 years old.