//Fleuve humain EST, 04.04.05
//Offset de 30 secs. 2e bobine
//n'a pas été fait //START
01:03:11:03 01:03:12:03

01:03:12:08 01:03:15:18
I have been practising this craft
since 1954.

01:03:17:10 01:03:20:25
I received the techniques
at the hand of my big brother.

01:03:24:18 01:03:29:17
We worked and prospered together
and both had children.

01:03:30:04 01:03:35:05
Eventually, my children
and my brother's children

01:03:36:00 01:03:39:01
came to learn the craft with me.

01:03:42:20 01:03:47:00
Making dugout canoes
was passed on to us by our family.

01:03:49:06 01:03:54:14
These canoes are made for fishermen
and travellers who are going...

01:03:55:00 01:03:58:27
from here to sunrise
or from here to sunset.

01:05:32:20 01:05:35:20
The shape of the dugout
depends on the bowhead.

01:05:37:10 01:05:41:13
How the bow looks determines
the shape the dugout will take.

01:05:44:06 01:05:48:01
Once the bowhead is done,
you carve the chest.

01:05:50:27 01:05:56:11
After carving the chest,
you position the vertebrae

01:05:59:12 01:06:02:17
The vertebrae ribs connect
the two sides.

01:06:03:26 01:06:06:12
The chest is the keel at the bottom.

01:06:07:03 01:06:12:08
The curve of the chest determines
how the interior is.

01:06:16:19 01:06:20:25
The same hand can make
two dugouts that are dissimilar.

01:06:21:04 01:06:25:29
They can be made by the same hand,
the difference stems from the bow.

01:06:32:12 01:06:36:27
As a child, I came to my father's
workshop and watched him work.

01:06:37:10 01:06:42:05
I dedicated myself completely
to making dugout canoes,

01:06:42:20 01:06:46:00
and quit school in 1993.

01:06:46:11 01:06:52:06
Since then, I have been constantly
acquiring experience in my work,

01:06:52:11 01:06:57:08
thanks to Allah's blessing
and that of my master.

01:06:59:19 01:07:03:12
A poorly carved chest
can cause water to seep in.

01:07:04:07 01:07:07:20
The dugout's chest
must be carved carefully.

01:07:08:21 01:07:13:17
The slightest bulge
can cause water to leak in

01:07:13:22 01:07:17:04
to the point of harming the dugout.

01:07:17:11 01:07:20:07
If it's really roughly carved,

01:07:21:03 01:07:25:22
the dugout could be
completely ruined.

01:07:26:21 01:07:30:26
Without the perfect balance
between height and breadth,

01:07:31:01 01:07:35:13
the slightest gust of wind
could reduce it to nothing.

01:07:35:18 01:07:37:08
Reduce it to nothing.

01:07:48:24 01:07:54:05
So that the dugout can be fully
charged without tipping over,

01:07:55:21 01:07:57:18
make it curved and spacious.

01:07:58:23 01:08:00:20
Broad and spacious.

01:08:01:04 01:08:05:17
- Make it spacious.
- Yes, curved and spacious.

01:08:05:22 01:08:08:23
The chest must not be narrow.

01:08:09:03 01:08:11:26
It should be wide, not narrow.

01:08:12:01 01:08:15:29
So, God willing,
whatever size you make it,

01:08:16:04 01:08:19:01
it can carry any load
without tipping over.

01:08:23:10 01:08:28:16
To be stable in the water,
the dugout must be the right height.

01:08:31:05 01:08:34:22
Its height must not be too extreme.

01:08:36:06 01:08:39:00
The height and breadth
must be proportionate.

01:08:42:04 01:08:46:29
Then the dugout will look good.
It will make a good impression.

01:08:48:15 01:08:51:02
Everyone will surely admire it.

01:08:53:14 01:08:57:13
On this river where we live,

01:08:58:04 01:09:03:11
any dugout canoe that does not
have the proper height...

01:09:03:16 01:09:05:10
will be rejected by the owner.

01:09:06:20 01:09:10:03
If its height is not right,
it will not succeed.

01:09:10:08 01:09:13:04
People will regard it
with distaste.

01:09:27:18 01:09:31:01
Everyone who lives
on the shores of this river

01:09:32:24 01:09:34:16
needs this working tool.

01:09:34:22 01:09:38:23
The people we work for
are all from our family.

01:09:41:06 01:09:45:00
Our ancestors adopted this craft
to help out people

01:09:45:05 01:09:47:20
who had to travel on the water.

01:09:49:03 01:09:52:03
Every time you make a dugout canoe,

01:09:52:08 01:09:57:16
it can be used by 10 or 20 people,
thanks to their kind-heartedness.

01:09:58:08 01:10:01:08
The idea that this work
was undertaken

01:10:01:13 01:10:04:02
to make a fortune
and put money aside...

01:10:04:07 01:10:06:16
is the furthest thing from our mind.

01:10:07:01 01:10:08:29
That was never the reason.

01:10:10:11 01:10:14:03
I did work for you last year
and you never paid me.

01:10:14:08 01:10:18:10
Let's just forget about it.
#Solidarité et fraternité obligent.#

01:10:21:22 01:10:25:27
Consideration and respect
are the advantages of this work.

01:10:26:26 01:10:29:27
- And something to live on...
- Another sign of consideration.

01:15:12:22 01:15:15:22
I started working
on the boats in 1977.

01:15:17:00 01:15:22:01
I started at the same time as other
young people like Iapto.

01:15:22:06 01:15:27:17
We did everything.
First, we were apprentices...

01:15:28:00 01:15:32:03
for employees of the ferry service
who have since retired.

01:15:32:11 01:15:37:14
We figured out how to do the jobs
by imitating them.

01:15:38:11 01:15:40:09
These days,

01:15:40:27 01:15:45:21
I use the same method with people
just starting out, like Goumeysa:

01:15:46:16 01:15:49:01
the captain-and-apprentice method.

01:15:57:18 01:16:01:01
Our mentors showed us
how to distinguish

01:16:01:10 01:16:04:21
between the shallow
and deep parts of the river.

01:16:04:26 01:16:10:00
I just told my apprentice to watch
closely the waters in front of us.

01:16:15:12 01:16:21:23
There are places
between Koulikoro and Gao

01:16:22:06 01:16:24:22
where there's a lot of sand.

01:16:24:27 01:16:29:13
There's too much sand in this river.

01:16:30:09 01:16:33:25
During the flooding season,
the water currents

01:16:34:00 01:16:37:02
pull sand from the banks
into the riverbed.

01:16:42:01 01:16:47:03
The water shifts the sand. You pass
by a place and, the following year,

01:16:47:08 01:16:51:24
the silting hinders navigation.
The next time, it's navigable again.

01:16:51:29 01:16:54:06
That's the reality we work with.

01:16:56:09 01:16:58:12
When there's a lot of sand,

01:16:59:25 01:17:04:11
we have to spot the places
where the river is deep,

01:17:04:16 01:17:06:21
and where it's shallow.

01:17:13:01 01:17:15:08
The water colour tells us.

01:17:22:17 01:17:24:20
If it's the flooding season,

01:17:24:25 01:17:26:07
it's a relief.

01:17:26:12 01:17:33:01
We have a first, second
and third mate to help us.

01:17:33:06 01:17:37:13
If the river is running high,
we're not tired.

01:17:37:18 01:17:42:27
I can leave the young ones
at the helm.

01:17:45:22 01:17:50:29
But when there's less water,
I get very busy.

01:17:54:06 01:17:59:12
It's like an asphalt road
compared to a sandy road.

01:18:00:08 01:18:04:07
Navigating high waters
is like driving on a paved highway.

01:18:11:19 01:18:17:20
There are some places
on the Niger River

01:18:17:25 01:18:21:04
that dry up completely.

01:18:21:09 01:18:24:20
In the dry season,
you can cross on foot,

01:18:24:25 01:18:29:07
or riding a donkey or a camel.

01:18:30:27 01:18:33:02
During the flood,
these places disappear.

01:19:46:29 01:19:49:22
Fatoumata, get that thing
out of the way.

01:19:51:15 01:19:53:16
Here comes the madman, Ladji Oumar.

01:19:57:06 01:20:00:29
That's all I need today.
Clear the way for the madman.

01:20:01:09 01:20:04:08
Backwards a little. There.

01:20:10:29 01:20:12:29
There was no scale.

01:20:14:20 01:20:17:23
We could cheat.
Why not steal from the thief?

01:20:17:28 01:20:23:02
He asked us forgiveness during
Ramadan for stealing our ice.

01:20:25:08 01:20:27:04
What can you afford?

01:20:27:09 01:20:30:15
- Isn't 350 francs all right?
- It's not enough.

01:20:30:20 01:20:34:27
- Is 400 francs acceptable?
- That's not acceptable.

01:20:35:02 01:20:39:12
- So, how much?
- 600 francs.

01:20:42:27 01:20:46:07
I've been a fishmonger
for 43 years.

01:20:46:12 01:20:51:05
My mother and grandmother did this
and my father was a fisherman.

01:20:51:10 01:20:53:01
It runs in the family.

01:20:53:06 01:20:56:28
We've made a good income,
as God is our witness.

01:20:57:18 01:21:02:05
We've done things, bought houses
and even bought gold earrings.

01:21:03:17 01:21:07:20
All the saleswomen have made
a profit from this work.

01:21:08:03 01:21:11:21
Now, times are hard.
Poverty is rampant.

01:21:12:01 01:21:15:23
Not many of the women
I did business with are left.

01:21:16:27 01:21:21:00
Revenues are down,
especially for fresh fish.

01:21:22:10 01:21:26:02
You need to give the fishermen ice.

01:21:26:07 01:21:29:20
They buy fish at Lake Debo
and bring it back to us.

01:21:29:25 01:21:32:22
The river here in Mopti
used to be full of fish.

01:21:32:27 01:21:36:24
We'd fill the dugouts with fish
at Barikondaga and bring it back.

01:21:36:29 01:21:41:29
Now, there's no fish left. We have
to go further, which cuts our profit.

01:21:45:06 01:21:49:04
The ice supply is insufficient.
We argue over it.

01:21:50:17 01:21:55:06
Only yesterday,
some people lost their fish.

01:21:57:13 01:22:03:00
Right over there are two big trucks
waiting for ice.

01:22:45:15 01:22:49:26
In the dry season,
many rivers dry up.

01:22:50:22 01:22:52:21
The fish's habitat is gone.

01:22:54:29 01:22:59:02
The water used to come
right up to the grass.

01:22:59:07 01:23:02:10
That's where the zankara lived.

01:23:03:02 01:23:05:13
You catch them in the shallow banks.

01:23:05:20 01:23:09:28
The water level went down
so they can't reach the grass.

01:23:10:17 01:23:15:15
The water used to flood the grass
for three or four months.

01:23:15:20 01:23:20:23
The water shortage has also
made the pindo disappear,

01:23:20:28 01:23:24:08
along with the snake-fish.

01:23:25:11 01:23:28:19
Several species of fish
must feed on grass

01:23:28:24 01:23:32:03
before returning to the river,
or else they die.

01:23:32:08 01:23:34:27
Lack of water makes them die.

01:23:35:02 01:23:40:09
We hadn't seen horse-fish
for over 20 years.

01:23:40:14 01:23:45:12
This year, we got some, thanks
to the water that came last year.

01:23:53:13 01:23:56:03
The flooding used to
carry away the sand.

01:23:56:08 01:24:01:03
The water would get muddy,
but the sand gradually shifted.

01:24:01:19 01:24:05:02
But, since the water doesn't rise
any more, the sand just stops.

01:24:05:07 01:24:08:14
It fills in the river bottom
and the fish nests.

01:24:08:19 01:24:12:23
The fish can't find a place
to deposit their eggs.

01:24:12:28 01:24:14:19
Reproduction is down.

01:24:22:20 01:24:26:27
Nothing can sustain fish
if the river bottom is sandy.

01:24:27:28 01:24:30:06
After they eat grass,

01:24:30:11 01:24:34:13
they go where there's
dirt and sediment.

01:24:34:18 01:24:37:01
If sand inundates the grass,
where will they go?

01:26:22:08 01:26:25:28
Living in Mopti
used to be enjoyable.

01:26:26:23 01:26:29:20
You could live here,
even with no money.

01:26:29:25 01:26:35:16
It was nice. There was fish
everywhere in front of the shops.

01:26:36:04 01:26:40:20
You could take what you needed
for food and no one got angry.

01:26:40:25 01:26:45:27
Even dried or smoked fish.
As long as it was for eating,

01:26:46:02 01:26:49:11
no one blamed you for taking
two or three fish.

01:26:49:16 01:26:52:17
You took them from
one of the fish stalls.

01:26:52:22 01:26:56:27
But re-selling was out of the
question. That was the rule.

01:26:57:11 01:27:01:07
Some people took fish
to make sauce.

01:27:02:23 01:27:04:14
No one said a word.

01:27:07:13 01:27:10:10
That's all I know.
Mopti used to be pleasant.

01:27:11:05 01:27:14:05
Now, God save us.

01:31:21:10 01:31:23:21
A Peul without cattle isn't a Peul.

01:31:25:26 01:31:28:29
A cow is a guarantee
for the future.

01:31:29:18 01:31:33:18
Cattle make you happy,
make you a man, a real Peul.

01:31:33:23 01:31:35:19
The cattle are our wealth.

01:31:35:24 01:31:39:25
We do everything thanks to
the cattle. They're our life.

01:32:28:13 01:32:33:08
We leave for six months: January,
February, March, April, May, June.

01:32:33:13 01:32:35:26
Then, we stop moving.

01:32:39:21 01:32:43:00
The hardest thing
during the migration

01:32:43:05 01:32:45:20
is the calving.

01:32:45:25 01:32:51:07
We have to carry the calf
on our shoulders.

01:32:52:15 01:32:58:01
If two or three cows give birth
the same day, we stop moving.

01:32:58:06 01:33:01:25
We wait until the calves
can get around.

01:33:02:00 01:33:04:22
It doesn't take long
for a calf to walk.

01:33:04:27 01:33:07:28
It can be the same day,
or a couple of days later.

01:33:08:03 01:33:10:27
After that, we can keep going.

01:33:11:02 01:33:16:10
When a cow gets sick, moving around
becomes more difficult.

01:33:17:14 01:33:21:07
It's hard to feed the others
staying in one place.

01:33:21:12 01:33:23:10
We must find food for them.

01:33:23:25 01:33:28:25
If someone can keep the sick cow,
it's a relief.

01:33:29:00 01:33:34:02
Without such hindrances,
we keep moving to find food.

01:33:34:15 01:33:37:09
If the cow dies, we keep going.

01:33:37:22 01:33:41:19
This is the kind of problem
we encounter.

01:33:41:24 01:33:46:03
Otherwise, all we do is walk.
No car, no canoe.

01:33:46:08 01:33:48:26
All we do is walk.

01:33:57:22 01:34:01:29
The flooding isn't like before
and this makes it hard for us.

01:34:02:04 01:34:05:08
The cattle have no grass
to feed on.

01:34:07:02 01:34:08:19
Without the flooding,

01:34:08:24 01:34:11:24
the grass gets dirty
and makes the cattle sick.

01:34:17:23 01:34:22:16
When the water rises, there's
no sickness. The grass is clean.

01:34:22:21 01:34:25:03
If the cattle get sick, we get sick.

01:34:25:08 01:34:27:03
Our life depends on their health.

01:34:27:08 01:34:29:17
We don't grow rice or millet.

01:34:29:22 01:34:32:14
Our livelihood is cattle.

01:34:32:19 01:34:35:26
If we wear nice clothes

01:34:36:01 01:34:39:04
or build beautiful structures,

01:34:39:09 01:34:42:11
it's due to the cattle we sell.

01:34:56:14 01:35:01:07
When you go into the bush,
the sun isn't hot.

01:35:01:12 01:35:03:16
It doesn't burn,

01:35:03:21 01:35:05:25
doesn't sting,

01:35:06:00 01:35:08:06
doesn't kill.

01:35:08:11 01:35:13:20
Let's herd the cattle and
go back home. It's a long way.

01:35:13:25 01:35:16:14
It's time for the migration home.

01:35:16:19 01:35:19:08
It's hot, it's red, it's hard.

01:35:19:13 01:35:22:04
But still we must walk.

01:35:22:16 01:35:25:00
The sun is not hot.

01:35:25:05 01:35:29:05
If we praise it, it doesn't climb,
doesn't roll, doesn't fold.

01:35:29:10 01:35:31:07
Let us arise, say our prayers,

01:35:31:12 01:35:33:09
quaff our pleasures,
pray on the sand.

01:35:33:14 01:35:35:14
wipe our brow. It is the dry season.

01:35:35:19 01:35:39:22
Let's gather our herd, leave
on foot, cross the fields.

01:35:39:27 01:35:42:21
Let's cross the rivers and go home.

01:35:42:26 01:35:45:19
Even if the cattle
are well fed and fat,

01:35:45:24 01:35:48:02
our rivals will find
something to say.

01:35:48:07 01:35:51:06
The dry season's here.
We seek sand and water.

01:35:51:11 01:35:54:03
We avoid the marshlands
and go where grass grows.

01:35:54:08 01:35:58:08
Let's take beast and fowl.
Let's cross hill and river

01:35:58:13 01:36:00:14
and go to the land of the Mossis.

01:36:00:19 01:36:04:25
With cattle, we can buy everything:
clothing, millet, rice.

01:36:05:00 01:36:06:22
It is our wealth.

01:36:06:27 01:36:09:27
The cows are identified:
red and black.

01:36:10:02 01:36:13:06
They are not mistreated.
The shepherd apprentice

01:36:13:11 01:36:15:29
has worked well, learned his orders.

01:36:16:04 01:36:18:24
His cattle are champions.
He's proud.

01:36:18:29 01:36:22:27
The hosting sun has risen.
It is hot. It is burning.

01:36:23:02 01:36:26:22
Do not tire. Do not hide.
Let's go.

01:37:49:05 01:37:52:10
I was born in the countryside,

01:37:52:15 01:37:55:10
where my mother and father lived.

01:37:57:05 01:37:59:01
When I was very young,

01:38:01:06 01:38:05:08
near Niafunké,
in the area around Niafunké,

01:38:07:00 01:38:09:09
I was always around the goats.

01:38:10:11 01:38:14:14
As an adolescent,
when I started understanding life,

01:38:14:19 01:38:18:00
I left the city. I was living
permanently in the bush.

01:38:20:03 01:38:23:03
My big brother and I were together

01:38:24:00 01:38:26:08
in the fields, with the sheep.

01:38:27:29 01:38:29:14
We would leave...

01:38:30:07 01:38:35:05
for Lere, above the flood zones.
When the high waters ended,

01:38:35:10 01:38:40:18
we came back down here
before going back to Lake Debo.

01:38:42:07 01:38:46:26
I continued with this until
I became a deckhand.

01:38:47:01 01:38:52:22
Our cattle sometimes mixed with others
under the care of another herder.

01:38:53:07 01:38:56:25
Our elders took ours back
and entrusted them to me.

01:38:57:27 01:39:01:25
I took care of them
until I became an adult.

01:39:02:00 01:39:08:24
I would walk along Lake Debo
to the border with Mauritania.

01:39:09:10 01:39:11:11
I spent the rainy season there.

01:39:11:16 01:39:15:00
I often went a whole year
without going back to my village.

01:39:15:06 01:39:17:26
I herded cattle the whole time.

01:39:21:16 01:39:28:08
I had a lot of fun with the cattle
while I was herding them.

01:39:28:13 01:39:34:12
Then I brought them back
to the village.

01:39:47:17 01:39:50:12
The white beach you see
over there... There it is!

01:39:54:02 01:39:56:00
That's where I stopped herding.

01:39:56:05 01:40:01:07
I knew that place
even before I got on this boat.

01:40:01:12 01:40:04:12
I moved around with the cattle,
all over the vicinity of Lake Debo.

01:40:04:17 01:40:07:07
I know the area
like the back of my hand,

01:40:07:25 01:40:10:20
as far as Dura and Lere.

01:40:10:25 01:40:14:19
I already knew all that
before I even embarked.

01:40:17:22 01:40:23:29
You can't feel foreign in a place
you've known since you were young.

01:40:24:04 01:40:29:20
I ate cashew nuts from
all the trees you see over there.

01:40:29:25 01:40:33:13
Before, people never ventured here
even if they were being chased.

01:40:33:28 01:40:35:27
There were many trees then.

01:40:36:02 01:40:41:16
Many panthers, lions, hyenas
and many other animals.

01:40:41:21 01:40:43:08
Sometimes at night,

01:40:43:13 01:40:47:14
we'd have to hold off
lions and hyenas until morning

01:40:47:19 01:40:50:00
so they wouldn't eat our cattle.

01:40:50:05 01:40:53:09
All the places we see here
are familiar to me.

01:40:53:14 01:40:56:22
I know the names of villages
to the far ends of the bush.

01:40:58:16 01:41:01:12
This bush was once
very dangerous.

01:41:01:17 01:41:06:07
Now, there's nothing there because
there's no water. Rain is scarce.

01:41:06:12 01:41:08:24
The vegetation is almost gone.

01:41:27:02 01:41:29:13
There used to be crocodiles.

01:41:29:18 01:41:32:22
On that island...
where we crossed the river.

01:41:32:27 01:41:36:11
Every day, we could see
herds of hippopotami.

01:41:36:16 01:41:40:29
They stayed on that island
day and night.

01:41:41:11 01:41:45:05
Food is scarce now,
so they left the place.

01:41:47:12 01:41:52:03
We were always used to
seeing them on that island,

01:41:52:08 01:41:54:08
but not any more.

01:41:54:13 01:41:58:01
It was impressive!
Seeing more than 20 over there.

01:41:58:22 01:42:00:08
They're gone.

01:42:00:27 01:42:03:15
We called it "hippopotamus island".

01:42:03:20 01:42:07:00
The water often receded at night.

01:42:07:05 01:42:10:28
Our cattle could then
go graze on the grass.

01:42:11:20 01:42:15:05
The hippopotami came
with the cattle to graze.

01:42:16:20 01:42:21:11
Now, there aren't any left
because they can't find food.

01:42:21:16 01:42:22:23
They disappeared.

01:43:57:21 01:44:00:16
We had some very hard days
this year.

01:44:07:20 01:44:12:08
The period is hard on the cattle.

01:44:12:13 01:44:16:12
There's no grass to graze.

01:44:17:23 01:44:22:21
There's only straw,
which isn't nourishing.

01:44:23:18 01:44:28:15
In the place where we spent
the season, the water dried up

01:44:28:20 01:44:32:20
and the stars were clearly visible.

01:44:34:04 01:44:36:15
Was wintering in Sahiri
as good as last year?

01:44:36:20 01:44:39:08
We only went as far as Kounai.

01:44:39:13 01:44:42:04
- Only to Kounai?
- Yes.

01:44:43:05 01:44:47:00
We couldn't take the time
to sit around.

01:44:47:05 01:44:50:15
We continued following
the herd for a week.

01:44:51:08 01:44:54:18
The Fadioudi and Balanceri roads
were the hardest.

01:44:54:23 01:44:58:03
There was no water,
except at Kanari.

01:44:58:08 01:45:01:23
We had no time to sit down.
We had to return.

01:45:01:28 01:45:04:07
We regretted our misadventure.

01:45:04:12 01:45:07:10
Coming back,
none of the villages had water.

01:45:08:20 01:45:11:29
Did the lack of water
really tire you out this year?

01:45:12:04 01:45:15:28
Yes, we're exhausted.
It's dry, there's not much grass.

01:45:16:03 01:45:20:25
We have to travel great expanses
so the animals satisfy their hunger.

01:45:22:13 01:45:27:04
With the drought, did the animals
manage to get enough to eat?

01:45:27:09 01:45:29:18
It's wasn't a disaster.

01:45:30:06 01:45:33:10
We managed to give them
enough to eat,

01:45:33:15 01:45:37:02
but less than in years
when the season is perfect.

01:45:51:05 01:45:54:10
Why do you like doing this work

01:45:54:15 01:45:58:17
despite all the hardships
it entails?

01:46:01:20 01:46:05:11
My father and mother did this,
and I liked it.

01:46:06:09 01:46:10:02
The young people with whom
I sold milk didn't go to school.

01:46:10:07 01:46:12:07
They were all just herders.

01:46:13:22 01:46:16:18
All the stories
they used to tell me

01:46:16:23 01:46:21:14
were really interesting
and they never left my mind.

01:46:21:19 01:46:24:19
That was all I could think about.

01:46:31:20 01:46:34:23
My mind soared with the cattle.

01:46:43:07 01:46:45:24
To each his destiny.

01:46:45:29 01:46:50:02
Since I left with the Peuls,
this thought has never left me.

01:46:50:25 01:46:53:17
Is it still with you?

01:46:54:19 01:46:57:05
Yes! If I see an animal for sale,

01:46:57:10 01:47:00:02
I want to buy it and add to my own.

01:47:02:18 01:47:05:23
Since the beginning,
what I like best

01:47:05:28 01:47:08:22
is seeing my cattle
get nice and fat.

01:47:09:19 01:47:13:08
Whenever I look at them,

01:47:13:13 01:47:16:09
I notice they're well fed.

01:47:19:12 01:47:22:09
I've heard it said that...

01:47:22:14 01:47:27:11
every time you see
a cow that is nice and fat,

01:47:27:16 01:47:30:06
you praise its size.

01:47:31:22 01:47:36:12
If your cattle are well fed and
a Peul comes to ask you for milk,

01:47:36:17 01:47:39:08
you'll really be proud!

01:47:39:13 01:47:43:08
Everything that Yaro said is true.

01:47:43:13 01:47:46:23
Well fed animals make you proud.

01:47:46:28 01:47:52:25
If your rival sees your cattle
he can't help but admire them.

01:47:54:17 01:47:58:08
- Anyone who sees them will say Wow!
- Let's not even talk about it.

01:48:01:09 01:48:05:08
The day we cross the river,
if the animals are really fat,

01:48:05:13 01:48:07:19
you'll rush to get them across.

01:48:07:24 01:48:11:03
Then you'll hear some sweet words.

01:48:11:08 01:48:14:28
You'll hear some sweet talk
from Peul women.

01:48:15:15 01:48:21:04
Then we meet as a group
and my friends tell me all about

01:48:21:09 01:48:24:13
the animals they saw,
the rivers they crossed,

01:48:24:18 01:48:31:13
all the villages they visited
while they migrated around.

01:53:29:04 01:53:33:22
I was born to a family that raises
livestock. It's all I've ever known.

01:53:33:27 01:53:38:26
No farming, no school. All I ever
learned was raising animals.

01:53:45:02 01:53:48:13
The herders who knew me
when I was a herder

01:53:48:18 01:53:52:03
would be surprised to know
that I've succeeded just as well

01:53:52:08 01:53:55:20
in navigation
as I did in livestock.

01:54:04:28 01:54:10:18
We herders are endowed with
a strong capacity for observation

01:54:11:15 01:54:13:15
and a keen sense of direction.

01:54:15:06 01:54:19:00
We can always recall
the places we've visited.

01:54:20:12 01:54:25:03
A man of the land can go everywhere
without getting lost.

01:54:25:08 01:54:27:20
He's used to going where he wants.

01:54:27:25 01:54:31:14
A man born in the bush
is unlike one born in the city.

01:54:31:19 01:54:33:19
They have different sensibilities.

01:54:34:19 01:54:40:20
The man of the bush possesses
a better memory for places.

01:54:40:25 01:54:43:00
He remembers everything he sees.

01:55:02:12 01:55:06:29
I can recognize where I am,
even in total darkness.

01:55:10:13 01:55:14:15
Right now, it's daytime.
You can see everything.

01:55:14:20 01:55:17:06
But for someone who knows the river,

01:55:17:11 01:55:20:03
travelling at night
is better than during the day.

01:55:20:08 01:55:24:11
When everyone's asleep,
no one bothers you.

01:55:24:16 01:55:28:20
Navigating this way,
you're alone with your conscience.

01:56:04:06 01:56:09:19
No one got in the way of my life
in the fields with the cattle.

01:56:09:24 01:56:12:20
I left it of my own accord.

01:56:18:28 01:56:24:00
I hadn't seen my mother
since I was just a toddler.

01:56:24:05 01:56:28:17
When my father died,
she rejoined her family in Koulikoro.

01:56:30:08 01:56:34:15
When I became an adult,
I ran away and left the cattle.

01:56:34:20 01:56:38:06
I left on foot,
with no boat, no car, nothing.

01:56:39:21 01:56:42:01
After a prolonged search,

01:56:42:06 01:56:46:11
I finally found my mother
in Koulikoro.

01:58:07:13 01:58:10:13
I came here when
I was 25 years old

01:58:10:18 01:58:12:12
to see my mother.

01:58:12:17 01:58:16:04
We hadn't seen each other
since I was weaned.

01:58:16:09 01:58:19:24
When she came
to spend holidays with the family,

01:58:19:29 01:58:23:21
I was out on the land
with the cattle.

01:58:37:15 01:58:39:27
When I was herding cattle,

01:58:40:02 01:58:44:17
whenever I thought of my mother,
I cried. I was fed up.

01:58:45:21 01:58:50:25
I was losing the desire
to carry on with that work.

01:58:54:07 01:58:56:27
I was curious to see him myself.

01:58:57:02 01:59:01:19
I cried, we approached each other,
I held him close to me.

01:59:02:23 01:59:06:05
God knows how I missed him.
My wishes were granted.

01:59:06:10 01:59:09:08
We found each other
in perfect health.

01:59:09:13 01:59:13:09
I moved here when he was little.
He's my first child.

01:59:13:14 01:59:18:03
My parents took him away from me
and I got remarried here.

01:59:20:00 01:59:23:18
I had him very young,
and then his father died.

01:59:26:28 01:59:29:05
My brother brought me home

01:59:29:10 01:59:32:22
and wouldn't let me go back.
He gave my hand in marriage.

01:59:33:08 01:59:34:25
That's why I'm here.

01:59:37:23 01:59:41:19
It's very painful. He was so small.

01:59:41:24 01:59:44:12
He didn't know about anything.

01:59:44:17 01:59:49:07
But if your parents take someone
away from you, you accept it.

01:59:49:25 01:59:52:28
The families decided
to take him away.

01:59:53:03 01:59:57:23
All I could do was
leave it up to God.

02:00:04:17 02:00:06:19
God gave him patience.

02:00:06:27 02:00:10:03
My parents-in-law
made him a herder.

02:00:10:08 02:00:12:16
God works in wondrous ways.

02:00:13:00 02:00:16:25
He guided Alassane's thoughts
and footsteps to me.

02:00:17:07 02:00:22:00
God helped Alassane find me.
Thanks to God, my son is home.

02:00:24:20 02:00:28:01
Such a child is blessed by God.

02:00:29:16 02:00:32:23
He has been respectful,
disciplined and dignified.

02:00:33:03 02:00:36:28
He has such a great reputation,
like an official.

02:00:38:01 02:00:41:25
His name is spoken everywhere.

02:00:42:25 02:00:46:24
Wherever I go, you can hear,
"There's Alassane's mother!"

02:00:48:04 02:00:52:04
My children have honoured me.
May God also honour them.

02:00:52:11 02:00:54:28
May God respect them.

02:01:00:00 02:01:04:12
My child who lives in Bamako
has done all he can

02:01:04:17 02:01:07:05
to make me move there.

02:01:07:04 02:01:10:24
I refused because
I want to stay by Alassane's side.

02:01:10:29 02:01:12:23
This is where I want to die.

02:01:22:22 02:01:24:26
From now on,

02:01:25:01 02:01:30:06
I will never again be like
the Peuls who sell animals.

02:01:30:20 02:01:33:29
God lifted the desire to herd
from my heart.

02:01:35:03 02:01:39:13
If I ever thought of doing it again,
despite all my suffering,

02:01:39:18 02:01:42:01
I wouldn't have learned my lesson.

02:01:43:15 02:01:48:26
Whenever I come to Niafunké
and my friends see me dock the boat,

02:01:49:19 02:01:51:08
they're astonished.

02:01:58:11 02:02:01:27
You never know
where the path will lead.

03:12:29:07 03:12:33:08
We come together. We complete
each other in spirit and in work.

03:12:33:27 03:12:38:14
Thus, the fruit of our labour
belongs to the whole family.

03:12:38:19 03:12:42:08
We eat and drink together,

03:12:42:13 03:12:45:11
we save money and
manage things together.

03:13:09:10 03:13:11:28
I have been a fisherman

03:13:13:13 03:13:15:19
for forty years.

03:13:21:26 03:13:25:14
I don't know any other
kind of work.

03:13:25:19 03:13:28:11
That's all we've done
since we were little,

03:13:28:16 03:13:31:00
and since our parents were alive.

03:13:31:05 03:13:34:22
They never did
any other work either.

03:13:35:28 03:13:39:29
In their day, there was
an abundance of fish.

03:13:40:04 03:13:44:17
Enough to fill a space the size
of this house every day.

03:13:45:15 03:13:50:04
They loaded it onto the dugouts
to go as far as Koulikoro.

03:13:51:29 03:13:54:03
They left from Diafarabé

03:13:56:05 03:13:59:05
and stopped at
Markala and Zinzani.

03:13:59:10 03:14:02:22
They sold their fish
just about everywhere.

03:14:02:27 03:14:07:09
Our parents had money but
God decided otherwise for us.

03:14:07:14 03:14:11:27
We haven't been as affluent.
Their fortune flew away with them.

03:14:12:02 03:14:15:00
But we've carried on nonetheless.

03:14:15:05 03:14:18:19
At first, there were two of us
but my brother died.

03:14:19:11 03:14:22:11
I am alone in pursuing this work.

03:14:23:08 03:14:26:26
I took a wife and, thank God,
I had children.

03:14:27:01 03:14:29:02
They found me doing this work.

03:14:30:05 03:14:33:07
We came to an agreement
to work together.

03:14:33:12 03:14:36:22
I stay on board the dugout
to lend them a hand.

03:14:36:27 03:14:40:25
Because otherwise, alone,
they would get too tired.

03:14:42:14 03:14:45:27
If we don't fish all together
in two dugouts,

03:14:47:03 03:14:49:18
we won't have enough to eat.

03:14:52:23 03:14:56:19
You know what's happening in Mali.
You know the price of supplies.

03:14:57:22 03:15:00:05
Last Sunday,

03:15:00:29 03:15:05:20
the 100 kilos of rice that we'd
sent for cost 25,000 CFA francs.

03:15:07:22 03:15:09:23
That was all we had.

03:15:09:28 03:15:11:21
Is fish alone an adequate staple?

03:15:14:00 03:15:17:04
This work entails
more fatigue than advantages.

03:15:17:09 03:15:20:22
If you've spent time on the river,
you know this.

03:15:20:27 03:15:23:18
Not many fish
get caught in our nets.

03:15:26:19 03:15:30:16
When you bring them to Mopti,
you're at the mercy of the middlemen.

03:15:31:22 03:15:33:25
They deal with who they want.

03:15:37:06 03:15:40:00
What profit can you make from fish?

03:15:41:21 03:15:42:25
There is none.

03:15:45:14 03:15:48:06
Fishing profits are
no longer assured

03:15:48:11 03:15:51:00
because there's no price scale.

03:15:51:21 03:15:56:06
But ask me about the sea floor,
and I'll answer you.

03:15:57:13 03:15:59:27
God gave me intelligence.

03:16:00:02 03:16:04:13
Using information from
the meteorological services,

03:16:04:18 03:16:08:08
I verify this against
the surface of the water.

03:16:09:21 03:16:14:28
If they announce an atmospheric
change for tomorrow,

03:16:16:11 03:16:18:02
with strong winds

03:16:18:26 03:16:23:04
or a front of easterly winds
for 2 or 3 days, it's a good sign.

03:16:23:09 03:16:27:05
If these winds continue,
it's useful to us.

03:16:27:27 03:16:30:13
The dogfish will come up.

03:16:31:11 03:16:34:01
The dogfish, the capitaine
and the carp

03:16:37:24 03:16:41:29
will all start coming up
from the bottom.

03:16:42:04 03:16:45:02
But if the weather's overcast
for 2 or 3 days,

03:16:49:22 03:16:53:28
you'll only catch
salmon and catfish.

03:16:54:03 03:16:56:19
Nothing but grey or brown fish.

03:16:59:23 03:17:03:29
If the weather is very hot
for more than 3 or 4 days,

03:17:04:04 03:17:09:09
all you catch is carp.
You won't get any dogfish.

03:17:12:11 03:17:16:26
Making sacrifices of milk
or kola into the river

03:17:20:11 03:17:22:18
won't do any good.

03:17:23:18 03:17:26:01
Having a good net
is more worthwhile.

03:17:27:06 03:17:30:13
When the fish pass,
you can catch a few.

03:17:30:18 03:17:33:27
The nets that we used this morning

03:17:35:25 03:17:39:17
were all made last year
or the year before.

03:17:40:01 03:17:42:07
Only one sanyélé is new.

03:17:44:07 03:17:49:19
This work has more
disadvantages than benefits.

03:20:48:11 03:20:51:24
Only one person in this camp
knows how to read.

03:20:52:14 03:20:56:12
It's the same thing
throughout the whole camp.

03:20:57:15 03:20:59:18
Young or old, it's the same.

03:21:04:02 03:21:07:08
I suffer greatly
from being uneducated.

03:21:10:19 03:21:15:04
My illiteracy has been
a tremendous handicap for me.

03:21:15:09 03:21:17:14
It has made me ignorant.

03:21:21:00 03:21:23:25
Without schooling,
jobs pass you by.

03:21:26:12 03:21:28:28
Even if you've travelled a lot,

03:21:29:03 03:21:33:21
uneducated, you're blindfolded.
You're in the dark.

03:21:39:20 03:21:42:25
If I could enrol these children
in school

03:21:43:00 03:21:46:12
it wouldn't bother me
to live alone.

03:21:49:01 03:21:54:04
I've even looked for someone
in the city to look after them.

03:21:55:10 03:21:58:05
I would entrust my children
to his care,

03:21:58:10 03:22:01:17
since I no longer have
a mother, father, older brother.

03:22:03:00 03:22:08:25
But since I can't find anyone,
I bring them all along with me.

03:22:45:18 03:22:48:08
We cannot abandon our work.

03:22:48:13 03:22:51:18
There's no way we can do that.

03:22:51:23 03:22:54:22
Only a very serious motive
could make us do that.

03:22:58:00 03:23:03:11
The children are bursting
with energy, courage and joy

03:23:04:21 03:23:07:18
as soon as we come
and live here with the fish.

03:23:11:17 03:23:15:19
They are more accustomed
to this way of living

03:23:17:03 03:23:23:08
than to staying in all the
misery and squalor of the city.

03:23:27:02 03:23:31:01
The moment we leave home,
the children don't feel well.

03:23:33:01 03:23:37:13
But as soon as we set foot here,
it's all happiness and health.

//FIN

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