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Le cycle de sel (sels caravanes, lac Assalé, 02-08)

Richesse des hôtes de lac Assalé les Afars - sel. Pour le siècle, sel a été exporté sur les caravanes d'ici à l'ensemble de l'Éthiopie et au-delà. La procédure a peu changé jusqu'à aujourd'hui. Oour expédition, nous avons eu la possibilité de witnes le cycle complet.
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During the night, hundreds, sometimes thousands of camels have arrived and gathered in the valley next to Ahmed Ela, the cosmopolitan Afar village next to the lake. A century-old tradition will repeat itself. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
During the night, hundreds, sometimes thousands of camels have arrived and gathered in the valley ne... [info]
(5499 Hits)
The number of caravans, the number of camels in each caravan, and the names of available salt cutters have all been recorded and matched to each other through a ticket system, supervised by the Shumbahari (the Chief of the Lake). Each caravan is thus assigned a group of 3 salt cutters, which ensures that the size of a single caravan is ideally 10-20 camels.
If there are less camels than workers, or vice versa, some of the workers (or camel caravans) will have to wait another day, but earn priority on the next day. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The number of caravans, the number of camels in each caravan, and the names of available salt cutter... [info]
(7316 Hits)
One by one, in defined order, the caravans leave towards the salt cutting area, about two hours march while it's still cool.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
One by one, in defined order, the caravans leave towards the salt cutting area, about two hours marc... [info]
(5396 Hits)
The march of the camels leads through one of the most hostile places on earth, the salt lake. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The march of the camels leads through one of the most hostile places on earth, the salt lake. (Photo... [info]
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Salt crystals form in hollows where they are protected from wind and the rare rains.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Salt crystals form in hollows where they are protected from wind and the rare rains. (Photo: Tom Pf... [info]
(5594 Hits)
Close-up of salt crystals. The brown color of the lake comes from small dust particles carried in by the often strong catabatic winds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Close-up of salt crystals. The brown color of the lake comes from small dust particles carried in by... [info]
(5703 Hits)
Focolo ("salt cutters") are providing the hard work, to break up the solid crust of the lake. Only about the upper 10 cm can be used.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Focolo ("salt cutters") are providing the hard work, to break up the solid crust of the lake. Only a... [info]
(5405 Hits)
Focolo at work. Each group of 3 focolo per caravan is paid 10 bir per camel by the Arho (the caravan owner). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Focolo at work. Each group of 3 focolo per caravan is paid 10 bir per camel by the Arho (the caravan... [info]
(5054 Hits)
The second step in production is shaping the blocks into rectangles that weigh exactly 7 kgs. This highly qualified job is done exclusively by Afar workers, who are called Hadelimera, the salt cutters.  (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The second step in production is shaping the blocks into rectangles that weigh exactly 7 kgs. This h... [info]
(6265 Hits)
Cutting the salt blocks requires a good eye and feeling for the material. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Cutting the salt blocks requires a good eye and feeling for the material. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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In a sea of broken crust, these Afar can be proud of their well-cut blocks. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
In a sea of broken crust, these Afar can be proud of their well-cut blocks. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(5183 Hits)
While the salt cutters and salt shapers are at work, the camel owners and their animals rest. They wait until enough blocks are ready for packing. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
While the salt cutters and salt shapers are at work, the camel owners and their animals rest. They w... [info]
(5059 Hits)
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