Author Helene Hagan was born and raised in Morocco. She came to the United States as a student at the age of 20. Her French Import Boutique, La Ruche was a well-known business there. Her book, “Tuareg Jewelry: Traditional Patterns and Symbols”, happens to exalt fashion in Africa.
The self-published book introduces the reader to the culture of the Tuaregs, a remarkable group of African nomads of the Sahara Desert, which has fascinated the Europeans who came into contact with them in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
In the last decade or so, as the Tuareg societies of Niger and Mali underwent major change, a number of American researchers began to document some of their ways. Research and publications in the English language are, however, lagging far behind those in the French language.
Fortunately, Hagan was originally educated in the French language, and as an Amazigh (Berber) herself, is very familiar with North African scholarship in the Amazigh culture. Thus, as a bilingual anthropologist of Berber ancestry, born and raised in Morocco, and an activist for Amazigh cultural, linguistic and human rights, she benefits from a fourfold source of valuable information: French scholarship, American contemporary accounts, the latest Amazigh research emanating out of North Africa, and Northern Niger Tuareg informants she knows. This unique set of circumstances gives the book an extra dimension of depth and insight.
After doing research among the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and directing a Photo Identification Project with elders of that reservation under the umbrella of the Oglala Lakota College, with a grant from the South Dakota Committee for the Humanities, Helene Hagan worked as University Associate Professor at John F. Kennedy University, while also managing an American Indian Gallery in Marin County, “Lakota Contemporary American Indian Designs” for several years.
Hagan is the author of numerous articles published in various newspapers, journals and magazines. In 2000, she began her career as an author with the publication of her first book “The Shining Ones: an Etymological Essay on the Amazigh Roots of Ancient Egyptian Civilization.” Her second book, “Twareg Jewelry: Traditional Patterns and Symbols” will be available in Spring 2006, and she is looking forward to publishing another two of her completed manuscripts in the future, one entitled “Souls Piled Like Timber” which is an extraordinary collection of oral histories, dreams and visions of African American ex-slaves collected by Paul Radin in the 1920’s, and the other ‘Fable and Truth: The Legacy of Chief Seattle.’
Xlibris (xlibris.com) was founded in 1997 and, as the leading publishing services provider for authors, has helped to publish more than 20,000 titles. Xlibris is based in Bloomington, IN and provides authors with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound, and full-color formats.