Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Snow Day!)


Notes:

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: NatGeo – Bactrian camels have two humps on their backs where they store fat. Arabian camels, called dromedaries have only one hump, but both these types of camels use their stored fat as energy and water when they are far away from food and a freshwater source. Bactrians’ nostrils close to block sand, and their bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes protect their eyes from blowing sand and ice. Baby camels are born with their eyes open and can run when only a few hours old. Camels move both legs on one side of the body forward at the same time, like giraffes and race horses. This is called pacing. The only truly wild camels that still exist are Bactrian camels. These herds survive in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China, but number less than 400. They are critically endangered in the wild.
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: James L. Stanfield @ NatGeo. Close-up of Bactrian camel. Just like their cousins, the dromedary or Arabian camels, Bactrian camels have built-in protection from the desert sand: long lashes and bushy brows keep sand out of their eyes, and their nostrils close to prevent sand from getting in.
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Khuus, khuus, khuus.)

Springtime in the Gobi is as life-giving as it is treacherous. As the -45-degree lows of winter yield to 100-degree summertime highs, the traditional livestock of the area’s Mongolian herders start to give birth. Risks are many. Shaggy Bactrian camels (two humps!) are pregnant for 13 months, and usually give birth to a calf every second year. But the harsh, dusty climate is unforgiving, and it is not uncommon for mother or baby to perish during or after delivery. The result is often orphaned babies and grieving mothers who need one another—but don’t have any filial bonds.

After centuries in the desert, the nomadic herders have developed a unique musical ritual to help form these bonds, or reestablish one when a camel mother has rejected her own offspring. In the half-light of dusk or dawn, a musician wields his instrument, usually a horsehead fiddle, known as a morin khuur, or a Mongolian flute. Everyone present wears their best clothes, out of respect for the rite. The mother and calf are tied together, and, on the orange dunes, another musician begins to chant: “khuus, khuus, khuus.”

At first, observers say, the mother either ignores the calf altogether or lashes out by biting or spitting at it. The “coaxer,” at this point, adjusts the melody based on the behavior. The singer begins to weave elements of poetry or song into the tune, to mimic the sound of the camel’s walking, running, and bellowing. After many hours of this, it is said, the mother and calf begin to weep. The spell is cast, and the animals are joined for life.

~ Natasha Front, excerpt from The Transcendental Ritual of Mongolian Camel Coaxing May Soon Be Lost Forever. Khuus, khuus, khuus. (Atlas Obscura, August 31, 2017)


Notes:

  • Khuus = “Service” in Somali (via Google Translate)
  • Photo/Article: Thank you Nan.
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again
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