Barawa and the ways birds fly in the sky: an ethnographic by Michael Jackson

By Michael Jackson

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Korgeyi boomed an answer. " My nickname is ' salt water' because none of my enemies would dare eat me for fear of vomiting me up agam. READ E ' S HOUSE was within Bolo Tamba ' s own cou rtyard . a large circu­ lar space completely enclosed by thatched conical houses. In the morn­ ing. as women swept the yards or spread unhusked rice on mats to dry. the older men lounged in raffia hammocks under the eaves of the verandahs and eyed the white man with interest. " D o his gi fts represent all that the white men make?

I f I am to safeguard our lands and liveli­ hood. then it is only p roper that one of you should keep vigil on the bird-scaring platfo rm . Let that man be Maran Lai Bokari . " But Bolo Tamba disliked being under constant threat o f invasion and decided to go to the Sankaran to negotiate with the warlords there . It was agreed that the Kuranko and Sankaran peoples would not threaten one another: together the rulers ate consecrated rice flour to seal their pact. A fterward . as Bolo Tamba prepared to return hom e .

Mouth and eyes filling with blood . he had a blurred vision of the great cat slithering across the ground then wheeling about. snarling in readiness for the kill. Its eyes were like sun­ light on river water. A numbing silence seemed to have seized the forest. Kulifa no 38 longer felt a part o f his own body. The leopard c rouched with its fore­ paws tensed against the earth . fangs bared and hind quarters drawn up. It thrust its head forward . Suddenly the boy heard the pulsating trill o f insects again, a n d the breath began to come back into h i s aching chest.

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