KING OF THE BUSHONGO
The drumming grows. Its thunder absorbs the earth. Suddenly there is a sharp silence!! Bope Mabinshi rises. He lifts his hands. In his left is a staff, in his right the royal sword. Slowly this monarch, one of the last true kings of Africa, lowers his arms. Slowly his huge body, rubbed with red ngula, descends to his stool. Slowly I tear my eyes from his great shelled necklace, his gold bracelets, his fine velvet made of raffia. The signal has been given. The drums begin again. The royal wives rise, their full bodies swaying in the haunting dance. Three hundred and fifty women, their skins like polished ebony, moving like the sensuous waves of a peaceful ocean!!