National Geographic : 1951 Aug
coast. It is also one of the most cosmo politan. All races and tribes of West Africa meet at one time or another in Accra: Hausa traders from Kano; Fanti, Ga, Ashanti, Mossi, Ewe; Ibo houseboys from Nigeria, Kru boys from Liberia; men of Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Togo; cattle drivers from the French Sudan; an occasional Moor; and the families of most of these. They come and go by ship, by train from Kumasi, by native lorry, and by foot.* Across the lagoon to the west is Korle Bu and its African hospital, one of many proofs of modern colonial interest in the native people. North is Achimota, educational center of British West Africa. Patterned after the public school in England, Achimota was established to educate the African to be a teacher and leader of other Africans. Accra's airport, a center of the vital trans African supply route during the war, now accommodates a few passenger ships each week, and an occasional B-29 on a training flight from Germany. Offshore from the city, an ever-changing, always-present fleet of merchant ships from everywhere stands beyond the shoals to take on new cargo and discharge the old. A hun dred water bugs, each a 24-foot surfboat, do the loading job, as they have for the past 300 years, driving through the surf with any cargo from piled sacks of cocoa beans to auto mobiles (pages 263 and 267). Accra's music is as diverse as its polyglot population. The African overtones of the calypso, samba, rumba, and blues rhythms give them a pulsing force that is rarely felt in their more polished Western forms. Recording the music of the different groups presented only one problem. No African city is a quiet place, and Accra least of all. Ex traneous noises have spoiled many a field recording, and we had no portable soundproof * See "Dusky Tribesmen of French West Africa," 26 ills. in color, by Enzo de Chetelat, NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1941.