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We drifted for another day down the Bani River. This area, part of the greater Niger watershed, is famed for the peaceful co-existence of its ethnically diverse tribal communities. The tribes, Fulani, Bozo, and Songhai specialize in different occupations (Fulani - pastoralists, Bozo - fishermen, Songhai - farmers) and live in separate villages that dot the river like beads on a string.
We bought riverfish from Bozo fisherman, and our boat pilot cooked it on an open fire in the canoe. This boat even has an outhouse in the back where you can hang your bottom overboard to relieve yourself.
Can you tell this is a Songhai village? We can't either, but our guide says that's what this is.
Can you tell that this is a Fulani village? Didn't think so.
One thing's certain, the natives sure can tell us apart. Go ashore and you're asure to be mobbed. A fellow overlander, Mary Beth, got lost while exploring. The natives mimicked our cry's of "Mary" and she found her way back. At least she never felt alone.
Our pirogue trip ended in the evening at Mopti, a city that lies at the junction of the Bani and Niger Rivers. The confluence of these two rivers turned Mopti into a thriving port city. Boats unload passengers, dried fish, bundles of firewood, and baskets of fruits, vegetables, and spices.