Thursday, June 25, 2009

Maziwa Ngombe up close

Maziwa Ngombe. The name is hard to pronounce. Getting there too takes some patience. The village is accessible through a rough road that is best ridden in a 4x4. From above though, inside the comforts of the plane which we chartered from Unguja to Pemba, Maziwa Ngombe is a big producer of seaweed. The farms are dense and cover hectares of the white sandy tidal flat that gets exposed during low tide.

aerial Maziwa Ngombe
Maziwa Ngombe seaweed farms, as seen from above

lowtide scene Maziwa Ngombe
farmers swarming over the reef during lowtide in Maziwa Ngombe

lowtide landscape Maziwa Ngombe
some take the opportunity to plant seaweed, others to harvest

harvest over her head
harvest over her head

Seaweed farmers in Tanzania customarily work only during low tide. In high water, work becomes dangerous and boats are necessary. In low tide then which comes when the moon is full, the expansive reef can be traversed on foot and seaweed planting, tending and harvesting can easily be done. The rest of the photos tell the story.

a fur of seaweed?
it’s like seaweed fur around her

Maziwa Ngombe women in colorful attire
women of Maziwa Ngombe in colorful traditional kanga attire

women under the shade
women with their seaweed harvest, resting under the shade of the coralline crags

a landscape with baobabs
Maziwa Ngombe is dry and barren, with a few baobabs protruding over the flat landscapre

coralline seascape
umbrella-like limestone outcrops mushroom over the tidal flat

woman carrying a sack of seaweed on her head by the stairs
a woman with her seaweed harvest by the stairs leading to the drying area

women with seaweed, boat
wooden boats are used in ferrying the harvested seaweed

harvest by hand and by boat
typical harvest scene in Maziwa Ngombe

splashing race for seaweed
a splashing race

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1 comment:

sylee said...

in my humble opinion, you have great photos here compared to the flickr, for example farmers swarming over the reef during lowtide in Maziwa Ngombe and the twin trees...