Well the reasons to go just keep on growing! Further to my last blog on Gavin Maxwell, not only does my forthcoming trek take me into the heartlands of the Glauoa - the tribe of the Lords of the Atlas who in the early 20th Century with the active connivance of the French subdued and destroyed a Berber culture and people remarkable for their independence and sense of freedom, replacing it with a regime of ferocious brutality and flamboyance - it now appears I may doing some accidental anthropological research! I may be searching for a lost tribe of dwarfs.
There were serious arguments at the end of the 19th Century put forward by a Canadian lawyer Robert Halliburton for the existence, on the Southern side of the Atlas Mountains, of a tribe of curly haired red-skinned dwarfs. Not surprisingly this was a somewhat controversial assertion ,with vigorous debates in various academic bodies. The region itself was almost unvisited by westerners - indeed the reason the French armed the Gluoua with modern weapons was to keep this remote under some sort of control.
. Halliburton continued to insist that he had more than enough evidence to prove this true until the day he died. After which the controversy seems to have died away. My old pal, Robert Twigger mentioned them in passing years ago - just one in a flow of esoteric comments that makes time with him so enjoyable. A search of the internet - this is when the internet is truly magnificent - revealed a series of archive documents indicating the dwarfs in the remote region around the D’raa valley through which I will be rambling. More to follow..
One of the goals of this trek is to raise money for Education for All Morocco - raising money to fund the education of Berber girls in the High Atlas. If you would like to find out more click here