National Geographic : 1931 Jun
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by W. Robert Moore HAIR-CUTTING TO HARMONY Perhaps the music makes the ordeal less trying for the woman who is having the back of her head shaved with a razor blade and a piece of broken bottle. Some women wear their hair in high pompadours, some shaved in back, and some plaited in various styles, depending upon their position or the racial group to which they belong (see, also, page 729). apparently has led many an amateur, as well as professional writer, in search of the sensational to devote much space to an allegedly deep-rooted taste of the Ethi opian for his beef raw, warm and quiver ing, as it comes from the freshly butchered animal. Such writers have even been known to stage raw-meat feasts for photo graphic purposes. I cannot corroborate their statements from my own somewhat unusual oppor tunities for observation of Ethiopian appe tite. Here, as in other countries, only an occasional palate fancies the taste of raw meat. I remember having seen a "raw Hamburger sandwich" consumed with ap parent gusto both in Europe and America. The Ethiopian who likes a bit of meat raw doesn't chop it up with onions, etc., but he often passes the morsel through a bowl of sauce made principally of red pepper and oil. Ethiopians tell me that the opening of a ceremonial feast with bits of raw meat is a tribute to tradition coming down from the times when the country was nearly en- gulfed by the Mohammedan invasion of several centuries ago. Ethiopian soldiers, hard pressed by the enemy, hid in the for ests, where they could not make fires for fear of betrayal by the smoke. Since they could not cook their meat, it was, perforce, eaten raw. At great feasts, particularly among the soldiers, a first course of raw meat is often served as a historical tribute to those perilous early times. LITIGATION IS A FAVORITE OUTDOOR SPORT Ethiopians appear to enjoy litigation, whether friendly or otherwise, and it is more often friendly than otherwise. One of the important centers of the market place in Addis Ababa and in other large towns is the courthouse. It consists usu ally of a sizable wooden booth, with benches on three sides for the judges and their friends. The fourth side is entirely open to 'the market ground. In front of this open side gather those who have com plaints to be heard. They are given all the time they desire to argue their own cases, for time is of small import in Ethiopia.