Head loads

The sight of people balancing loads on their heads is such a familiar image in many African cultures that one immediately gets used to it. These images come from Cameroon, Sao Tomé et Principé, Burkina Faso, Côté d' Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique. People of all ages carry goods in sometimes amazing containers, in bowls or loose on their heads. Unlike in Europe, transport by physical strength does not seem to be something to be avoided here, preferably left to a subordinate or vehicle. Even heavy loads are carried here with unpretentious dignity and pride, even in the midst of motorised traffic. From water-filled aluminium bowls to small wooden boxes: seedlings, firewood, petrol cans, hot meals, cassava and even bulging sacks of fresh cocoa beans, not infrequently weighing 60 kilograms, are carried to their destination.

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