By Wilfred Thesiger, Jon Lee Anderson
Forty seven b/w photos additional on the finish
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Against the wall at the far end was a wooden chest and near the entrance a large pitcher of porous clay filled with water and supported in a wooden frame. There was no other furniture. The hearth was a third of the way into the room and in the centre. Here beside a small fire a dozen coffee-pots Back on the Edge of the Marshes 27 were ranged, the largest about two feet high. Into this in accordance with Arab practice the grounds of previous brews were emptied, the discoloured liquid being used to fill the other pots.
Why are they wrapped up like that? ' Dogs raced along the bank above and stopped every ten or fifteen yards to bark at us in a sort of gibbering frenzy, their lips drawn back over their teeth. Each group of dogs handed us over at its boundary to a fresh lot. Children watched silently and women, none of them veiled, looked out from the houses. There seemed to be few men about. ' An elderly man came out fastening his headcloth. 'Welcome! Welcome Ya Muhafadh! Come in! ' Falih refused, although the man pressed us to drink coffee.
Falih's own horses had been shackled in the same way and when I asked him the reason, he explained, 'It stops people from stealing them. If you fasten a horse with a rope, the thief can cut the rope, jump on its back and then both disappear. ' 'Why are they wrapped up like that? ' Dogs raced along the bank above and stopped every ten or fifteen yards to bark at us in a sort of gibbering frenzy, their lips drawn back over their teeth. Each group of dogs handed us over at its boundary to a fresh lot.