My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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MARRAKECH, Morocco—At ten o'clock this morning we were off again to the mountains, this time on the road to Taroudant. This was much more impressive scenery than yesterday—deep canyons, snow capped mountains in the distance and a very winding road. There were not many villages but here and there on a commanding peak a Casbak stood. These are more imposing than the villages and are built like forts with a commanding view of the mountain passes. We stopped in a little village to let me ask if I might go inside a house. The woman was sweet faced, wore a clean colorful dress, with earrings and bangles in silver, so I gathered she was modestly well off. She had a goiter as so many of these mountain women have. Her home had the usual yard enclosed by bamboo sticks in which there was a tethered lamb. The lower room had the stove with a container for hot water built in above the fire, and a pipe to carry the smoke out went through the roof. There were one or more braziers using charcoal to cook on, and a brass tray and a few glasses and spoons finished the household equipment. The house was made of mud with one or two small holes for light and air and the door was made of wood. There was a mat on the floor for sitting and sleeping and the floor was hard earth. A woman sat on the floor in the dark making a bead belt similar to those our American Indians make. Back of the room was a small storeroom and above a few steps up the hill this house had a second room which is rather unusual. Here she had a bed with a mattress and a sheepskin cover, two closets and a few shelves. On one of these was a cheap clock which she took down and asked Mr. Angag to wind and set—evidently a very cherished possession. Everything looked spotless and tidy and there was no bad odor.

We started on to reach the place we had chosen for lunch but our second car struck a rock in the next village and we had to decide to picnic there and we were in luck though we did not know it. We had brought our lunch and the newly appointed Caid or head man left the celebration in his honor and came to greet us. He was a fine looking man with a black curly beard and we found that during the struggle for freedom he, like so many others we have met, was condemned to death with 35 others of his group, and he spent a year in prison. He sent a beautiful orange and black Berber rug for us to sit on under a weeping willow tree and two cushions to lean against "for the ladies" and later hot sweet mint tea was brought with which you must finish a meal in this country. Then we were invited up to see the Berber men dancing in the new Caid's honor and so the misfortune of our car turned out a pleasant adventure.