National Geographic : 1953 Feb
255 fliac s sar A Dreaded Haboob Rolling In from the Desert Envelops Khartoum in Sand This gritty storm calls to mind the "black rollers" that swept America's Dust Bowl of the 1930's. A haboob blowing up four days before Khartoum's eclipse threatened to negate months of scientific preparation. straight lines, or geometric patterns over the body (page 257). Men wear a star on the cheeks, bars or rows on the body, a fish or antelope design on the chest. Further beautifying is painfully gained by scalloping the edges of the ears. Many women have a hole punctured just beneath the lower lip in which they wear a stick or an empty cartridge case. Men frequently cover their bodies with fine, white wood ashes and appear like ghostly ap paritions, except as friends may draw geo metric designs in the white coating. Sticky, bright-red ocher, daubed on the skin, is the fanciest local cosmetic. Laundry Bluing Tints Men's Skins At a recent hunting dance I was surprised to see men dyed bright blue from neck to knees (page 264). This new vogue, John Owen, the district commissioner, explained, was due to the village entrepreneur, who, despairing of selling laundry bluing for the usual purpose, was promoting it as a skin beautifier. Everyone wears a giraffe-hair neckband with an ingenious sliding loop for passing it over the head. Even non-Christians hang shiny religious medals or large gleaming crosses from these bands. Our stock of safety pins and cotter pins was quickly depleted as gifts to be placed in hair, ear lobes, or lip holes. Our gasoline tins and cartridge shells were hammered into other ornaments. And the shiny tinsel which my wife originally had intended as decoration for her water-ruined Christmas tree became gay bits of adornment. Lotuka are paragons of courtesy to people whom they know and respect. They shake hands, bow heads, and gravely repeat the word mong dozens of times. The friend re sponds with ogolo. To outsiders such lengthy salutations are amusing, except when one is in a hurry to get information. Most Lotuka villages cling picturesquely to small hills dotting flat grasslands. The in herent desire for this scant protection from enemies is so strong that even now, with little fear of raids, inhabitants refuse to move. In the dry season many women walk 10 miles daily to muddy holes or creeks for water.