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Sudan - Expo Zaragoza 2008

Sudan at the Exhibition Expo Zaragoza 2008
© Philippe Lemaire

Irrigation methods developed in the first century of the Christian era with their own melody. This is the main theme of Sudan, the largest country in Africa. In this territory, crossed from south to north by the Nile, the Sahara desert, a savannah zone with semi-arid vegetation, a vast clay plain and green wetlands that are flooded every year are all present. The Sudan pavilion is aesthetically surprising: a spiral leads the visitor to the base of a well through a darkened route (with floor and walls). At the end of this path are the traditional irrigation systems developed by the Sudanese twenty centuries ago: the shadouf and the sakiya. The shadouf is ideal for small areas. The upper structure supports a long pole from which a bucket or skin bag is hung. A counterweight is attached to the other end. The bucket lifts the water and empties it into an irrigation channel. The sakiya is a wheel that draws water from a greater depth and is used to irrigate larger areas. The mechanism consists of a large cogwheel attached to the vertical axis of a well, combined with a smaller wheel. The latter is connected to another wheel, this time horizontal, driven by a draught animal. As the wheels turn, they make a peculiar sound, known as 'the music of the sakiya'.

© Exposicion International Zaragoza 2008