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Sticks

One day Ed struck up a conversation with the Africans. We were waiting with them in front of the church in Nova Prata. All of the festival performers had been told that the mayor would greet us for a photo-op that morning. I'd say we waited close to an hour before the mayor showed up. In that time everyone grew restless. And the Africans took the opportunity to sing some of their songs -- a sound all of us loved to hear. After each song they would raise their walking sticks into the air, yelling and whistling and getting the entire crowd to join in. Ed, in a disarming way that is famously Ed, makes friends with their musical director, who tells us about the songs they are singing. We learn that the songs they sang that day aren't to be sung during their stage show because those were drinking songs. They're songs meant to pass the time, which is exactly what we were doing. He laughed as he told us this. Obviously no one knows the difference because the words are foreign, but I think he thought it was funny that they were actually performing these songs. Ed also asks about the raising of the sticks. And the man explains that they only do that for show, to excite the crowd. Why? Because the gesture is reserved for war and you must be prepared to fight if you raise your stick before another man. Yikes! (note to self: keep stick lowered while in So. Africa.) See the things you learn when you hang out with Mr. Cruz!

Comments

  • It is neat how they look like bones.
    Gary @ 13th December 2005
  • that's so great! i'm just learning that now.
    Mur @ 13th December 2005








    

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Pictures by OJ, based in San Francisco, California. Email oj [at] fiftynormal [dot] com for prints and bookings.

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