Peeling Bark for Bark Cloth, Uganda, Africa

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Even if you had never heard of Uganda (-gän´ dä) you would know that this scene was in a tropical country. The native is engaged in peeling the bark from a tree with a short-bladed, long-handled knife. He is dressed in clothing which is made from this same kind of bark. This strip of bark will be soaked in water until it is pulpy. Then it is beaten with clubs or mallets until the soft, inner bark comes loose from the rough, outer layer. This inner bark has a texture not unlike that of cloth. It is brown in color, and is used in this form. By piecing it with other strips a garment is made. You will observe that the native you see here has his bark clothes made in the fashion of a gown with an overcoat. His arms are bare, as also are his feet. Uganda is in Central Africa, a little way north of the Equator. It lies west of Lake Victoria and is drained by the headwaters of the Nile. It is as large as the states of Ohio and New York together. Its total population is about 3,000,000, of which number less than 1,000 are white. The territory is ruled by the British. It is largely wooded with tropical forests. It produces rubber, sisal (s´ sl) hemp, coffee, ebony, shellac, gums, sugar cane and castor oil. Its exports consist chiefly of goat skins, hides, coffee, cotton, and cotton-seed. About Lake Victoria a queer disease attacks the inhabitants. This disease is called the "sleeping sickness". The person affected becomes drowsy, goes into a stupor, and dies. The disease has been so widespread on the islands of Lake Victoria that most of the people have fled from them. Find Uganda on a map of Africa. Keystone ID: 17033 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.