National Geographic : 1963 Oct
growing aptitude for white-collar jobs. Heavy work, however, does not suit them. The Nubians' love of home and tradition, and their feeling of superiority over their neighbors north of the First Cataract, cause them, when away from home, to associate with fellow Nubians in clubs organized by villages and districts. When a foreigner takes interest in them, their suspicion is great. But once convinced that his interest is unselfish, their helpfulness knows no bounds. When I complained to Ali, a leading Nubian in Cairo, that I had never seen a Nubian wedding, he said obligingly: "You know, I could marry off my son. You need only give me a date that suits you." Ali was as good as his word. The wedding took place soon after in the village of Tushka (pages 600-601). Children Greet Visitor Boisterously I have stopped in so many Nubian villages that I have forgotten their number. Clay brown and shiny-white villages. Villages with simple but artistic mosques, and villages with out a place for prayer. Villages clinging to the sheer cliffs, or hiding behind palms and mi mosas. Some have no name; some have five. But one's arrival in a Nubian village is al ways the same. Droves of children descend on the stranger, hungry for diversion. Their older sisters and mothers run into the houses, cry ing "Sura, sura-Picture, picture." Then, yielding to curiosity, they peer from cracks in doors and windows. They would love to be photographed, but custom is against it. The pictures I took of them were obtained only after persuasion and even then few would look at the camera. A Nubian divorced his wife, I was told, when he saw her picture in a Cairo magazine. Nubia is a barren, poor country-the far ther north one goes, toward the old dam, the poorer and more barren it becomes. The men there go abroad-Cairo, too, is considered abroad-hoping to return sometime. They may yearn for their villages all their lives, these villages without stores and cafes, with out hospitals or doctors, without moving pictures, automobiles, or bicycles, without telephones or electric lights. Few men in their prime can be seen in the northern Nubian villages. A handful, armed with stick and shotgun, act as field guards and representatives of the civil government in each district, which may include two dozen villages in a strip seven miles or more long. The bulk of the village population are old men, children, women, and marriageable girls. 608 KUUACHUME (ABOVE) AND HS EKTACHA In the cool of night, an Egyptologist's aide mounts a ladder to take measurements of the gateway of Dandfr temple. This shrine, built by Augustus, honors two deified heroes. Guardian cobras flank the solar disk above the doorway. Archeologists dismantled the temple for ultimate shipment abroad. Faint Light in Tomblike Garf Husein Shows Six Giant Images of Ramesses II At first glance, the vault resembles the in terior of Abu Simbil (page 592), but the statues are smaller and lack grandeur. They appear to be the work of clumsy stonecutters. Straps painted across the cheeks hold the false beard that dignifies Pharaoh when he is shown in the guise of Osiris.