National Geographic : 1934 Dec
HUNTING USEFUL PLANTS IN THE CARIBBEAN Dr. G. Stahel, in charge of the Testing Garden, is thoroughly versed in the botani cal problems of the Tropics. One of his first remarks was, "Now, Dr. Fairchild, you shall be the first American to see the flagellates I have found, which kill the Liberian coffee trees in this col ony. I have been wait ing for some one to come and see them." This is the first time it has been proved that a tree disease is caused by these microscopic parasites. Through Dr. Stahel's microscope we watched the flagel lates with their wig gling tails as they swam about in the sieve tubes in the inner bark of his sick coffee tree. Flag ellates cause many ani mal and human dis eases, and whether some of the other ob scure plant diseases which have puzzled pathologists may not be due to similar mi croscopic animals is a question. Dr. Stahel suspects they are. In a chartered train on a narrow-gauge railroad we went to see the vast hinterland and the Bush Negroes. wild men, descendants Photograph by Jacob Gayer THIS NURSEMAID HAS DINNER ON HER MIND To anyone who has never seen pots and saucepans borne on the head, the feat may seem a cause for some wonder as well as amusement, but it is an everyday sight in Paramaribo. In some West Indian islands such work is reserved for women, and a man would be as ashamed to carry a load in this way as some men in Europe are to be seen with a parcel These essentially of West African slaves who escaped from slavery about 1762, soon after their arrival in the Guianas, have scarcely been touched by our civilization. We stopped to visit a typical Carib In dian village, the first I had ever seen. The native Indians are a rather unresponsive people whose way of life is far removed from our encroaching civilization and they will not change. After all, why should they? They have a right to like their way better. At Kabel we left our train and climbed into large, carefully built dugouts, which were manned by Bush Negroes. The men were splendid-looking specimens; their brown bodies glistened in the sunlight, and they laughed and chattered as they handled the long paddles. The Surinam is wide and swift at Kabel, and full of rapids which require great skill to negotiate. The waters are infested with perai, those small voracious fish which hunt in schools and attack and tear to pieces any living, warm-blooded creature, so that one does not casually cool one's body by a dip in the river. Dr. Stahel even warned us against trailing our hands in the deep water, for fear the fish might nip our fingers.