Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"The Well"

There are competing sotires of how Tombouctou got its name...but this is one that gets a lot of traction. No doubt because of the oh-so-convenient placement of this well in a small (but very interesting) ethnographical museum.

A scholarly work dating from 1655 by Es-Sadi claims that the town owes its name to an amalgam of the Tuareg word tin (well) and a woman by the name of Bouctou. She was the caretaker of this primary well when the town was an important oasis stop on the edge of the desert. So in effect, the name is a simple translation of "Bouctou's well". And yes, this picture is of her well. While I must admit to being greatly skeptical, I warmed to the site as we wandered about. The truthful location or not, I liked the attempt at preserving history...and if it IS the well, doing so in such a quaint fashion makes me smile.

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An inveterate traveler, who has explored all seven continents, Neil centres his freelance writing today on travel.
Published work includes travel writing in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Buffalo News, Travel Scoop and The Wonderful World of Budget Travel. Featured destinations include: Toronto, Ontario; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Qufu, China; Oaxaca, Mexico; Jersey, Channel Islands; Trans-Siberian Express.
Neil’s photography focuses on finding images of the worlds he visits that capture the essence of “place”. Whether photographing landscapes, archaeological sites or locals, the goal is to make a picture emotive of what brought one there.
Photography has been published in Camera Canada, Foto Flash, Minolta Mirror and travel publications, as well as displayed at gallery exhibits in Toronto.