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In the province of Tindouf, in the refugee camps of the Western Sahara (south-western Algeria), there live some 125,000 Sahrawis. These camps, named “provisional” despite over 40 years’ existence, are located in the heart of Algeria’s hamada, a desert of stone characterised by a hard, arid landscape of rocky high plains and with little sand.

In this unfavourable setting, and with very limited resources, the children make their own toys with the materials they have at hand: wire, cans, metal sheets, camel bones, scraps of fabrics … and it is precisely these toys that demonstrate the ingenuity and skill of the Sahrawi children to transform these simple materials into all the toys that spring from their imagination: cars, trucks and other vehicles, dolls, houses, swords, and so on. The toys in this area were collected by the Figueres journalist Josep Puigbert Punset during a visit to Tindouf in 2004 and were given to the Museum the following year.