CAMEL HERDING IN SUDAN

Every activity has its own unique set of sounds, and a caravan through the desert is no exception. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History. This month, we’re celebrating ten years of broadcasts and 2,000 programs.

ambience: water drawing songs

During a long journey across the desert, when camel herders reach a well, they’ll draw water in teams chanting as they pull on the rope. Lou Werner is a documentary film maker who traveled with camel herders taking animals from central Sudan to markets in Egypt. There are no paved roads, no way to deliver the camels except by trekking along an ancient trade route through the desert.

ambience: camel herding

“Camels are used not to transport goods like you might see in paintings. They are herded like cattle. They are slaughtered and eaten like cattle; and they are a store of wealth.

“When the camels are being driven to market, they might make 60 miles in a day, they might be walking 15 hours, and they will go without water for eight to ten days, depending on the availability of water at local wells. And they also eat very little in that time.”

The journey across the desert takes forty days. By the time they reach the halfway mark, the herders may have watered the camels only once or twice.

“In some ways, these camel drovers are like the cowboys of the Chisholm trail. They are moving large numbers of animals that are very valuable to market. These camel drovers come from one of the most remote, uninhabited parts of Africa, and they’re going to Africa’s largest city. They’re going to the outskirts of Cairo, which has something like 15 million people.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

CAMEL HERDING IN SUDAN

Listen in on the sounds of a camel caravan, trekking along an ancient trade route between central Sudan and Egypt.
Air Date:11/26/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

Every activity has its own unique set of sounds, and a caravan through the desert is no exception. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History. This month, we're celebrating ten years of broadcasts and 2,000 programs.

ambience: water drawing songs

During a long journey across the desert, when camel herders reach a well, they'll draw water in teams chanting as they pull on the rope. Lou Werner is a documentary film maker who traveled with camel herders taking animals from central Sudan to markets in Egypt. There are no paved roads, no way to deliver the camels except by trekking along an ancient trade route through the desert.

ambience: camel herding

"Camels are used not to transport goods like you might see in paintings. They are herded like cattle. They are slaughtered and eaten like cattle; and they are a store of wealth.

"When the camels are being driven to market, they might make 60 miles in a day, they might be walking 15 hours, and they will go without water for eight to ten days, depending on the availability of water at local wells. And they also eat very little in that time."

The journey across the desert takes forty days. By the time they reach the halfway mark, the herders may have watered the camels only once or twice.

"In some ways, these camel drovers are like the cowboys of the Chisholm trail. They are moving large numbers of animals that are very valuable to market. These camel drovers come from one of the most remote, uninhabited parts of Africa, and they're going to Africa's largest city. They're going to the outskirts of Cairo, which has something like 15 million people."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.