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De cyclus van zout (zout caravans, Lake Assale, 08 Feb)

Lake Assale hosts de Afar rijkdom - zout. Eeuw, is zout geëxporteerd op caravans van hier naar alle van Ethiopië en daarbuiten. De procedure heeft weinig veranderd tot vandaag. Op onze expeditie hadden we de kans om witnes de volledige cyclus.
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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]
(5498 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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
(5053 Hits)
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