National Geographic : 1958 Oct
Hooded Falcon Perches on Its Trainer's Hand Centuries before the art of falconry reached Europe, Arabs trained hawks to pluck wild fowl from the skies and dive bomb gazelles. Today the sport is so expen sive-a good falcon costs $300 to $500-that few but the rich can afford it. Here, at Az Zubayr, the trainer for a sheik shows off a prize pupil. Leather jesses bind the bird's legs to his mas ter, who wears glove and arm cuff as protection against scratches. The cushion, at tached to a stick, provides an alternate perch. The hawk's eye-covering hood ensures against fright; it is removed when quarry appears. Father and son shop for bread in Az Zubayr. Lattice like loaves travel well aboard a camel. Kodachromes hy Jean and Franc Shor, 486 National Geographic Staff © N.G.S.