December 28, 2007

Search for the Masked Tawareks

W. J. Harding King, A Search for the Masked Tawareks. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1903.

Chapter XVI, Page 224:

"The Tawareks may, roughly speaking, be said to hold, with the exception of the Twat depression and a strip of desert along the Atlantic Coast, the whole of the Sahara from Timbuktu in the south right up to the southern boundary of Algeria, and to extend as far east as the western frontiers of Tripoli and Fezzan."

"The French lay claim to the whole of this immense region, and of late years have been poaching upon the Tawarek preserves, and, by establishing a few small outposts in the oases, have attempted to obtain some control over the trade routes and to protect them as far as possible from the attacks of these marauders. They will, there is little doubt, succeed in controlling the trade, but they have as yet no power to protect the routes, for though the French publishers may issue maps in which the Sahara is painted red to mark it as a French possession, this does not by any means constitute them the rulers of the country, and no greater mistake can be made than to suppose that it is they who rule the Sahara."

"The Tawarek rules it. . . . Mounted on his swift mehari, armed with his sword and iron lance, he is monarch of all he surveys."

-- Written in 1903

William Joseph Harding King (1869-1933), explorer, FRGS, was educated at Jesus College Cambridge. He travelled extensively in the north African deserts. In 1900 and 1908 he was in the Western Sahara and in 1909-1912 he explored the central portions of the Libyan Desert. He took part in 1913 with Oric Bates in the archaeological expedition to Marmarica. He was the author of two books - A Search for the Masked Tawareks (1903) and Across the Libyan Desert (1923) - and a number of articles.

-- University of Exeter, Academic Services

Articles by W. J. Harding King:

"Travels in the Libyan Desert", The Geographical Journal, Vol:39 (1912), pp:133-137;192

"The Lybian Desert from native information", The Geographical Journal, Vol:42 (1913), pp:277-283;320
"The Farafra Depression and Bu Mungar Hattia", The Geographical Journal, Vol:42 (1913), pp:455-461;516
"A Study of a Dune Belt", The Geographical Journal, Vol:51 (1918), pp:17-33;251-258
"Mysteries of the Lybian Desert", London, 1925

-- The Libyan Desert, History and Exploration