The Fat-Tailed Sheep Of East Africa

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Epstein H.
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Fat-tailed sheep entered Africa from western Asia by two ways: the Isthmus of Suez and the Straits of Bab el Mandeb. The northern stream, which began to replace the original thin-tailed woolless sheep of Egypt already at the beginning of the second preChristian millenium, did not penetrate far enough to the south to join the southern. In East Africa, to this day, it is still separated from the southern distributional area of the African fat-tailed sheep by a broad belt occupied by the thin-tailed breeds of the Shilluk, Nuer and Dinka. The southern group of fattailed sheep which entered Africa through Bab el Mandeb extends from Abyssinia and the Red Sea littoral to the lake district of Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika Territory. Farther south the native flocks consist largely of the original thin-tailed type of the Southern Bantu, with the exception of the fat-tailed sheep bred by the Hottentots and by the Bantu peoples in their neighbourhood who obtained them from the Hottentots by barter or pillage.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 20, p. 109-117