National Geographic : 1924 Jan
TIMBUKTU, IN THE SANDS OF THE SAHARA © Cecil D. Priest A NATIVE CANOE ON TIHE NIGER Nigerians are expert in making canoes out of hollow logs and pieces of dum palm. The larger canoes are fastened together with palm leaf rope or wooden pegs. Their owners ply for miles up and down the Niger, trading in dried fish and cereals. A grass awning shelters them from the blistering sun. food, and household goods are all jum bled together inside. On the walls of the physician's house were heavy iron spears, five or six feet long, with beaten brass and copper inlay. The mounted Tuareg usually bears one of these spears and a shield made of ox hide and nicely carved. More elaborate shields are made from oryx or giraffe hide. These are most serviceable and will resist with ease a sword cut or arrow. Another article of local manufacture which attracted my attention was a bit, a cruel device consisting of a sharp piece of iron projecting from the bar and de signed to be placed under the horse's tongue. \Vith this bit and spurs, the native is able to make his horse "tripple," regarded by them as the essence of good breeding in a pony. He can also draw the animal up on its haunches from a full gallop within a space of 20 feet-very pretty to watch, but distressing when one re alizes the cruelty practiced to accomplish the feat (see also text, page 69). After luncheon I tasted a new and most refreshing drink called citronelle, a kind of tea made from a grass which the French cultivate in their gardens. Other wonderful things are also grown along the banks of the Niger at these French posts. I saw melons, strawber ries, pineapples, bananas, limes, egg-fruit, pomegranates, and vegetables of every kind. When the time came for my departure, I rode one cool evening to Korviamo by moonlight, with an escort of four mounted soldiers. Even in these days it is not safe for Europeans to wander about the desert alone, for the "Razuls," or bandits, will still kill or capture if they get the chance. INDEX FOR JULY-DECEMBER, 1923, VOLUME READY Index for Volume XLIV (July-December, 1923) of the National Geographic Magazine will be mailed to members upon request.