National Geographic : 1934 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE rnotograpn Dy James U. Wilson MANPOWER OPERATES THE MANGLE IN LAGOS The Yoruba are extraordinarily clean in their personal habits and are always washing themselves, their clothes, or their babies. In this port, southern trading center, and capital of Nigeria, the British have built sheds where the natives do their own laundry and that of the thousand or so white men who live there. The boy on the left brushes his teeth while he works (see text, page 38). toothless old granny with three huge green lizards tethered around her neck and crawl ing over her shrunken breasts and shoul ders. She wrinkled her nose hospitably at Flood and held out a choice and evil-looking dried squid. "No, thanks," said Flood. "No mum mies today, but I'll mention your collection to the British Museum." THE TRAVELERS DECLINE MAGIC CHARMS She then tried to tempt him with monkey skulls, dried snakes, little bundles of feath ers, and small dehydrated carcasses of every description, but Flood remained the faith ful Presbyterian, and we set out the next morning without benefit of magic, which may or may not have had something to do with the condition of the roads and trails for the next 3,000 miles! Beyond Ibadan the highway soon lost all desire it had ever had to amount to something in this world, and before we had got to Ilorin, 92 miles farther, it had petered out into nothing but a thin trail through the tall grass. The British resident at Ilorin said that no one had traveled the 55 miles from there to Jebba by motor vehicle for more than four months because of the rains. When we finally reached Jebba we wrote back to him that no one had passed that way by motor vehicle yet, but that two fellows had just been over the trail on foot carrying motorcycles. Jebba marks the approximate northern limit of the Yoruba tribes. Eighty miles upstream on the Niger is Busa, where the famous Scots explorer, Mungo Park, was drowned while trying to escape a native attack. Bida, capital of the Nupe people, was about 80 miles east of Jebba, as the crow flies, on our route to Kano. We put up with Mr. Durham, railroad maintenance of way and the only white man in Jebba, who lived in a grass-thatched mud house with his soda siphon, portable bath, two monkeys, and a pet cobra. Once a fortnight he ordered up a refrigerated roast on the "boat train," put on his tuxedo, and dined in state to remind himself that he was British.