National Geographic : 1968 Jun
these mountain Berbers are believed by an thropologists to be descendants of the original inhabitants of the Atlas. At Imilchil I engaged Said as a guide for the next part of the trip. The route I had chosen would be innocent of trail for more than 20 miles, and devoid of any shelter. "Why do you not take the easy low road the people use when the snow is in the passes?" Said asked. "I will lead you, yes, but it is a foolish thing thus to select the way of danger." And I could answer only that I wished to make photographs of snow. Shaking his head, Said led forth upon the trail. We followed. Then came the time when the silly mules stepped blithely into deep snow-but about this I have already told. 856 That evening, in the home of the sheik of Ait Ali Ou Ikkou, ten guests sit on the living room floor drinking the mint tea that precedes every Berber meal. They enlarge their circle to let us in. We are lucky: The mountain people do not eat until 9:30 or 10:30 at night, so we are in time for dinner. Said is very hungry. He had eaten little on the trail. A devout Moslem, he had declined the sardines, cheese, and oranges I offered him because they had been touched by unclean hands. Many questions precede the meal. "Who is this strange youth who assassinates our language and wears his hair to his shoul ders?" the sheik asks Said, nodding in Ahmed's direction. These Berbers shave the skull.