Sunday, December 02, 2007

Not every beast was so lucky, and at least twenty were lost in the three or four hours we were watching. Savage scences ensued as their carcasses were washed up on the shore and immediately set upon by hoards of little Bambara and Bozo boys who chopped up the meat with machetes and knives. The Fulani owners left their drowned cattle since, as devout Muslims,they are not allowed to eat meat from beasts which have not had their throat slit.

After witnessing this magnificent spectacle of life and death we left for Djenné in the afternoon, and passed by the village of Mounia, where I found the hunter griots who entertained my guests at Christmas last year. (See December 2006 entry)I wanted to hire them again, but I was told that one of them had died and the other had left. ‘But why did he die?' I asked, aghast, remembering the handsome tall young hunter from last year. ‘Oh, he just fell ill and died’, they replied. ‘And the other one, where did he go?' I asked. ‘Oh, we don’t know, he just left’, they replied. And I was once more struck by the precariousness and expendability of life here…


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