Revolt in Morocco – 1894

There was a piece published in the West Australian on Monday, 13 August 1894 that noted:


London, August 12.

The Kabyles, a mountain tribe in Morocco, have revolted and have killed the local Kalifas. The revolt is due to the extortion practised by the tax gatherers.

Of course, the reason it was published on the 13th is that of time zones. What is impressive, and frankly it had not occurred to me but thinking about it, it makes sense, is that the telegraphic passage of news in the late 19th century was quite effective. To have a story in a London newspaper on the 12th of August, London time, appear in an Australian newspaper on the 13th of August and this in the year of 1894 frankly I find amazing. There is perhaps a 12 hour window at maximum from the story being published in London to its being sent (by Morse code in those days) to the Australian news services, picked up, typeset (by hand) and then published.

As you can probably tell, I am quite impressed.

And, to the matter of the question, “who are the Kabyles” then there is a good write-up in Wikipedia. They are also a good subject for Colonial Wargames and although the timeframe is good, they have not made an appearance in Peshawar yet.

Mongolian Camels’ Horns


The Camels Look Up After Drinking
A couple of Mongolian camels looking for the goat to come and return the horns

When Mongolian camels (OK, so they are Bactrian camels but in Mongolia, they are Mongolian ones) drink they inevitably slurp great quantities of water down, then look up.

Puujee was telling me that the reason for this comes from many many years ago. Camels had horns in the past and goats did not. One day the goat wanted some horns for a while. So he asked the camel if he could borrow his horns. The camel was wary and said that he wasn’t sure but the goat kept insisting. The goat promised to have the horns back to the camel later that day.

The camel relented and lent his horns to the goat. The goat went off with the horns.

Later that day the camel was having a drink and wondering when the goat was going to come back with his horns. He then looked up and around to see if he could see the goat coming. He drank some more and looked some more but still the goat did not come.

To this day, the camel looks up after drinking to see if he can see the goat coming with his horns. To this day, the goat has horns and the camel does not.

And, in the time I spent in the Gobi, I never saw a camel and a goat drinking water together either.

The Tale of the Four Mountains, Umnugobi Aimag

In Umnugobi Aimag, there are four mountains. King Mountain (Noyon uul), Queen Mountain (Khatan uul), Prince Mountain (Khuu uul) and a mountain named after the member of court that assists the King, his servant, and organises the King’s domain. In Mongolian this person is known as the Tushmel and so that mountain is called Tushmel uul. Noyon uul is near Noyon Soum in that Aimag. One day, a long time ago, the mountains were close. Noyon uul and Khatan uul then argued and fought. They argued so hard that Noyon uul decided to move to the east whilst Khatan uul moved to the west. As part of this argument, Khatan uul, the Queen Mountain, kicked a rock mirror at Noyon uul, the King Mountain. Noyon uul kicked a table in his anger.

So now in Noyon Soum we find Khatan uul to the north west and Noyon uul to the south east. In front of Khatan uul is a mountain range that looks like a line of soldiers, protecting the queen. Khuu uul and I are behind Noyon uul, with the table rock between them and Noyon uul.

The mirror rock that the Queen Mountain threw was of a dark polished stone, When you looked on one side of it, you could see Khatan uul reflected in it. Look in the other side and you could see Noyon uul reflected in it. It was a beautiful rock.

In 1932 the Russians came into this area and shot the Mirror Rock. No one is quite sure why, other than it was perhaps because the rock was beautiful. The result of this vandalism was that now the rock is destroyed.

Noyon uul was so named as the rocks on the top of this mountain resemble the type of cap that the old rulers of Mongolia wore. Visitors can still travel to Noyon uul, Khatan uul, Khuu uul and Tushmel uul and see the remains of the mirror rock.

Umnugobi Aimag is the southern most Aimag in Mongolia and borders with China. It is fairly easy to reach from Ulaanbaatar.