All posts tagged: kola nut

what’s to eat

Exactly 340 kola nuts, to distribute to the chiefs of 34 villages as an opening remark. If you want to get anywhere au village, you’ve got to carry kola.* *Also used as wedding party favors, and munched on for a caffeine boost, among many other purposes.

on a funeral

There was a funeral to attend, of a well-known and well-loved gentleman from the North. I was set to go with hair wrapped up, sporting a red and gold djellaba. Outside the home of the recently deceased, men mingled on overlapping carpets under a tent set in the road, some waiting to ride to the cemetery, where men alone are permitted. I headed inside the adjacent house to join the women, whose task it is to mourn and comfort the newly widowed wife. The front hall was lined with somber women seated on chairs. I gave a weak greeting, Bon soir, and the name of the person I hoped to find. A few hands pointed through a doorway and down another hallway. I passed through and found more women: on the floor, on carpets, on woven mats, on chairs, standing. I repeated the name of my inviter. They pointed up the stairs. I climbed up and, at the landing, I looked down over a railing into the courtyard: every square inch was packed with women, …