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© Ami Vitale / Panos Pictures..A Mauritanian poses for a portrait  in the village of Bounessa in the Affole region of Mauritania. Bounessa is a village of only 61 families, all of one sub-clan and tribe, the Swaqer of the Hel Sidi Mahmoud. The families were once nomadic,  but since they built a dam in 1960, they are settled now. The great majority of Mauritanians use Hasaniya Arabic, which, along with Wolof, is an official language.   The country has a complex social caste system, with light-skinned Moors usually in positions of power and black Africans often at the bottom of the social ladder.  (Photo by Ami Vitale)