Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sacrificial Inauguration?
Although Baba is the owner of the land on which I am building Hotel Djenne Djenno, I have leased it and I am able to do more or less as I please. I want to keep on friendly terms with him, of course, and so far he is very pleased with the progress.
He is so pleased, in fact, that he had a rather alarming idea the other day, which he communicated to me amid much excited gesticulation and rolling of eyes.
'We will have to have a big inauguration feast', he insisted. (I did not much like his choice of personal pronoun, but decided to ignore it)
'All the Marabouts of Djenne will have to be there to give ritual benediction' (there are about 50) , 'and we must sacrifice a white bullock on the forecourt of the hotel!'
I started to explain, rather feebly, that I was a member of the RC congregation of St. Francis of Assissi, Notting Hill, and that, perhaps...' Not to worry', interrupted Baba, spreading his arms in a magnanimous gesture, and assured me that Allah is great and merciful and would not hold this unfortunate circumstance against me. He would in fact send his family marabout to guide me, so there was nothing to worry about....
(the bull picture is from the floor of the state bathroom of Kentwell Hall, Suffolk, where I painted a mock mosaic floorcloth a few years ago.) Posted by Picasa


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