Traces of a gone time


Her ankles witnessed of a time of force-feeding. Carrying the signs of being a really big woman she had problems walking, using a red stick to keep her body straight. She is one of those girls that were dug deep into the sand, only the head sticking up, being fed by force thick camel milk until she threw up and then fed the puke.

I wanted to ask her about her young days. About her growing up, being a child and grow old. But my French is too bad, and hassaniya limited to a few words. Instead I sat there, quiet, behind her in the taxi that was bringing us to the Adrar; the northeast of Mauritania. In a few hours the hustle and bustle of Nouakchott had changed into a calm and quiet dessert town.

Though note that there are people I’ve met who say that force-feeding is still practised in some remote villages. That it’s not yet all gone.


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