The People in the Papyrus Swamps
The marsh men of ancient Egypt worked closely with boatmen on the Nile and also with the herdsmen who were the cowboys of old Egypt. They were simple, unkempt swamp people with clothing made of rush-mats. They were the fellows who drove the cattle to lush places in the Delta. An annual trek north through the Water World across canals, branch rivers and swamps to reach the Delta. Later the cattle were driven back and returned to their owners.
In modern times the Delta swamps and the Water World have all but vanished, but on the other side of Africa in Lake Chad, an African tribe, the Yedina, still lived in swamps and on papyrus islands in much the same way as did the marsh men of archaic Egypt. They herd their distinctive curved-horned cattle across the lake to nearby islands in almost exactly the same way as the ancient Egyptians, including papyrus skiffs!
Today the Yedina face a crisis in that their lake is drying up. Lake Chad was featured in Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth as one of the extreme examples of a disappearing habitat. The papyrus swamp ecosystems in which the people live have almost gone. As the lake dries and the Yedina move elsewhere, they have to give up a life style that was a throwback to the time before the Pharaohs.