The other day, the twelve year old granddaughter of one of our vendors brought an item to me at the front counter. She thought it would be a good item to blog about. At first glance, it was obvious that it was a whip.
It is in fact a Camel whip from Saudi Arabia. It is a vintage (1970’s) inlaid whip with a wood and leather wrapped handle. When camels refused to move, they would use these whips to give them a smart whip on the chest. The surprising part was what I found *inside* the handle.
Inside the handle is a prodder. Camels have thick coats that protect them from the sun, and insulate them so their bodies can absorb their sweat. Their hide is very strong, with a pulling strength 5x greater than cattle hide. This prodder is used to stimulate movement. They are poked in the rump. If you have watched “Indiana Jones” movies you will have seen a prodder used on camels when the bad guys are chasing them. Camels can keep a constant speed of 45 mph. With a little prodding they can do short bursts of 65 mph. The prodder is not easily accessible and I am sure only used when necessary. Camels are amazing animals. A full grown camel stands at 6 foot 1 inch at the shoulder and 7 foot 1 inch at the hump. They have a life span of 40 to 50 years. Camels can consume 53 gallons of water in 3 minutes. So, just how long can a camel go, before its hump starts to slump or the camel is in need of water? There are records of camels going 6 to 7 months without water.
In the few years that Grandma’s Attic has been open, we have had a camel saddle and now a camel whip. This is pretty amazing since there aren’t too many camels in Anderson, MO!
Have you ever ridden on a camel?
-The GA Gang