National Geographic : 1924 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE © Cecil D. Priest A STREET IN TIMBUKTU Life in Timbuktu passes like a slow moving picture through the narrow, tortuous windings of its sand-carpeted thoroughfares. Arabs and Moors in flowing garments, French tirailleurs with gay red fezzes, Fulanis and Tuaregs with sandals clattering at their heels mingle in noisy and picturesque confusion. man's hand perfectly still for several seconds. The market place was now becoming congested and the strange-smelling at mosphere was annoying. Meat, covered with flies innumerable, and all sorts of articles of food were being sold. Four or five languages were distinguishable at times, the guttural sounds of the Tuareg being predominant. The noon sun was blazing hot, but a sun-umbrella afforded some relief. The natives sat on mats, under the shelter of little grass shanties. All sorts of trades were represented: butcher, sad- become tame and dler, leather - worker, grocer, jeweler, per fumer, barber, black smith, tailor, and last, but not least, the fish monger. There is a big trade in dried fish caught in the Niger, and, since the native is very fond of fish, it is readily understood how a "sun-dried-fish mer chant" soon sells out. I bought some pretty blue amulets and neck laces as curios, and was pestered by an ex soldier who spoke a little French to buy some of his cigarettes. I did, but soon after I lit one I discovered my error! In the market place are three European commercial houses where the ordinary necessaries of life can be bought at exorbi tant prices. I remem ber asking the price of a bottle of white wine and was told 55 francs! After leaving the market place we came to a large hollow in the ground that was for many years the home of an old hip popotamus which had had lived there much as a pig wallows about a farmyard. ALL WOMEN SEEN IN STREETS BELONG TO SERVANT CLASS The streets, or rather passages, were full of people, either going to or return ing from the market, which is a sort of African news exchange. The "Anglais" seemed to be an absorbing topic of con versation and curiosity. Arab boys and girls ran past one like fleet little gazelles, while men in passing saluted by raising the hand; the women either turned and ran or passed in a very bashful manner.