Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I was based at Bauchi, Northeast State of Nigeria, and used to make my shopping in Jos, which was the nearest town with a bank, a supermarket and a garage managed by a Swiss professional. The Plateau had a better climate than the Sahel, and European colonials tended to make their holidays there. The Plateau lacked pasture lands, so the Hausa and the Fulani pastoralists had left the people there unconquered. Jos also had attracted a middle class of Ibo tradesman and ironmongers, and I collected handmade knives, cutlasses and farm tools (but my best items were from the large Onicha market on the Niger River. It was all lost in the shipping to Argentina.)
These days a ferocious ethnic extermination war is being waged in the North of Nigeria, with hundreds of people killed. Southern peoples are more intelligent and advanced, but I dont know if they can survive in the Muslim North. Politics in NIgeria was always tribal, ethnic. Like elsewhere.
The pic shows a manilla bracelet, produced by the AFricans and used as money. Later the Portuguese made them to order in Birmingham and the Low Countries for trade in West Africa. They were abundant and cheap in Onicha and I collected many of them. They were lost except one.