National Geographic : 1932 Jun
SURVEYING THROUGH KHORESM THE YOUNG ENGINEERS IN CHARGE OF IRRIGATION PROJECTS The older men are mistrusted, so large responsibilities rest on the younger engineers. Early the next morning we arrived at the river, boarded our boat, sent our auto mobile on to meet us at Khodzheili, and after a short trip upstream headed down the river for Jumur Tau, where the only mountain range in Khoresm is cut by the Amu Darya. On the way we watched a group of Rus sian and native fishermen row out into the swift current, cast their nets, and then row back to shore. Occasionally a sturgeon would be caught, and we bought one weigh ing 24 pounds. The remains of an old fort or castle known as Gyaurkala are to be seen on the right bank a mile above Jumur Tau, where a large boat towing four barges passed us, slowly chugging its way upstream, barely able to make headway against the swift current. At Kipchak, an exceptionally dirty and disease-ridden town, most of the children seemed to have scalp, eye, or nose afflic tions. A search of the bazaars revealed little for sale besides melons. In two of the Government stores we tried to buy cloth and rubbers, but were informed that these goods were sold only to producers of cotton or other raw material. We stayed that night a few miles down the river, at Takhya Tash, the last narrows before the river spreads out in its delta. A fisherman had his net on the point of the Takhya Tash Cape, where an eddy caused the water to flow upstream. The trap, on a rectangular wooden frame, was so arranged that by means of a rope it could be rotated about the inside lower corner and raised above the water surface. The fisherman held in his hand a small cord attached to a signal net inside the main net. A tug on this string indicated when a fish was caught. BANDITRY CONTINUES NEAR TAKHYA TASH In some jungle land on the right bank, above Takhya Tash, there are large rodents, wild boars, and tigers. The left bank is open and mostly uncultivated land.