National Geographic : 1924 Jan
ADVENTURES AMONG THE "LOST TRIBES OF ISLAM" occupies practically her entire day. Mean while her lord and master sleeps until sunset, recuperating his strength. If he is feeling very ener getic, he perhaps spins a little cotton or weaves some cloth, squatting outside his tukl so that he can keel an eye on his women and see that they do not slack off. WIVES' WORK CARE FULLY APPORTIONED As soon as the first rains come, the man goes off with his wife or wives and escorts each to her own patch, because each has her own seed supply, just as each has a separate house. Holding in both hands a branch of a tree that is bent at nearly a right angle, with sometimes a small iron hoe at the end, he ambles at a jog trot down the cultivated plot. Each time the left foot comes to the ground he gives a jab at the soil at his left side, which displaces the sand a little. When he has gone about THE SURVEY WhEEL USED BY THE AUTHOR IN MAPPING DARFUR As his province was practically unmapped, wherever Major Keith Roach traveled he had a native push a cyclometer before him, so that the distance might be accurately noted. Bearings taken with a pris matic compass were also recorded (see text, page 57). Note the baby ostrich in the foreground. fifty paces he turns at right angles, gives a jab, and then turns again and makes a fresh line parallel to the other. His faithful helpmate walks behind him with the millet seed in a dried water melon rind, and, without bending, drops a few seeds into the hole, brushes it over with her foot, and passes on to the next. In a day they can plant an extensive area. As soon as all is planted, he and she wait until the seeds begin to sprout, un less he has planted when the rains are due. This he frequently does in feverish anxiety-the only time he ever exhibits this trait. Then it often happens that there is a dry spell for a month, in which case the grain dies and the work has to be done over again. LOCUSTS COME AND WORRY BEGINS After three weeks of good rain and ample sunshine, the grain comes up, and with it the everlasting haskaneet; so he takes his only other tool, a half-moon shaped hoe, and hoes the weeds. This is rather harder work, since it entails some back-bending, although the handle is made as long as possible.