Monday, March 29, 2010

Pulaar Goat Herders

I was out in the bush the other day with Tomsir, the guy that I tutor in English, not too far from Kayemor collecting tree seeds (because Tomsir said he knew where to find tree seeds for this one kind of tree that has thorns and so it’s a good tree to plant to make a live fence) when some Pulaar (one of the ethnic groups in Senegal) goat herders came by with all their goats. They generally are not very social people nor very educated because they spend so much time out in the bush herding their animals around, so they were super interested to see me – a white person – out in the bush. They didn’t speak very good Wolof (which is surprising since the major ethnic group in the area is Wolof, but then again they’re out in the bush so much with just themselves that they don’t interact with other people very much so they don’t really need to know Wolof very well), but the oldest guy spoke enough for us to communicate about why we were out in the bush. After a little while of chatting, Tomsir suggested I take a picture of them, so I asked them if I could take a picture of them, and they loved the idea – they loved it so much, in fact, that they wanted to try to gather all their goats together so I could get a picture of them with all their goats. Trying to gather well over 100 goats with only 4 people is not an easy task. They pulled off a branch from the tree that we were collecting seeds from because the goats really like the seeds (which is one reason I’ve been having a hard time finding these seeds) and tried to entice them to gather in that way (see pictures below). Once that was done, the oldest guy wanted a picture of just himself with his best goats, so (in the last picture below) he’s holding 3 goats by the horns. The youngest guy also wanted to be in the pic (though the oldest guy didn’t want him there) – so he came running with their youngest goat. What a random experience.

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