"he had grown tired of his half-dozen or so Ouled Nail mistresses"

Women of Ouled Nail were Berber belly dancing girls said to have originated in the "Montes des Ouled" who served in towns across the Sahara. Little girls were trained from an early age in the art of dancing, leaving their desert villages as young as nine to go into the cafes and practice their trade. They wore exotic costumes decorated with jewells and used heavy make up, tattooing their faces and darkening their eyes with kohl. They went unveiled, even when almost all women in North Africa were covered and wore huge bracelets with studs and spikes an inch or two long designed to protect them.