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For Garpor it was one of those glad-to be alive days – well more than most. There was little work to be done and he was able to enjoy. Every so often he came up to Gandor pass – just to check. From where they lived it was a two-day journey, and last night he stayed in the dismal little hut his grandfather had built for this overnight purpose. Now up higher he could see the pass ahead, and he wandered across – not a care in the world.

“That’s not true, is it?” a little voice questioned him. And he recalled a family visit. Years ago his daughter, Darino, had left home to marry Rindo, and they visited at the end of the snow. He had never liked Rindo, he was always too possessive – many altitude Naguals claim that being nearer the Mubans rubs off on you. Rindo was discussing rumours he had heard from far.

“My cousin had a visit from a group of Mubans,” he remembered Rindo recounting. “With them they had these Colwil maps,” continued Rindo, as Garpor recalled tales from far away where this crazy Muban had been trying to find his way out of the Ring of NaAgu. Making maps was one of his ways that Naguals did not like.

“They had lines on these maps,” warned Rindo “lines across the land my cousin tended. My cousin spoke of deeds and taxes that Mubans required of him. But that didn’t make sense, this was Nagual – nothing to do with the Mubans.”

Clearly Rindo did not know for sure what he was talking about, and for sure it didn’t make sense. There was an unwritten tradition, Kajaa and NaAgu – kind of joined but separate, a symbiosis where the ways of NaAgu helped when Mubans strayed – and vice versa some said but no-one could remember such. But what was definitely the case, the Mubans did not tell Naakon what to do. He dismissed what Rindo had said, mainly because he dismissed him.

This conversation was what the voice was reminding him about. As he walked he thought about it a little, and it meant nothing to him. Slowly he let go of it, walking here was too nice to be disturbed by thoughts of Mubans. He reached the edge of the pass and hunger began. He paused and got his bearings, yes there was time to reach their waterfall, Khanti and his. This was why he liked coming up here because he could get to the waterfall; the hunger quickened his pace.

Garpor heard the water long before he saw it. The land that Kunyino creates was so wonderful. The water comes from much higher – snows melting or whatever, and must descend inside the mountains because the waterfall just emerges, forms this magic pool, and the water disappears underground again with evidence of a small 6 inch gap where he could see the water descend further. Even that then disappears, must come back further down, he thought.

The sound of the water brought back important memories, it was here that Khanti and he knew they were going to be together. When young his father had asked him to come here to check this land they tended, and Khanti had persuaded him to come along. It was normal for Naakon to walk alone – being alone was an important part of their tradition, their strength of character, but she was special and it was around his time when he must find a partner. Unlike Darino’s choice, Rindo, Khanti was well loved by his family – they were mutually loved by both. Being out together like this would help Khanti and he decide.

The sound of the water triggered that togetherness. He heard the water first, or so she let him think, and they had run off towards it. He recalled her saying it was as good as he had described, he felt a glow at that. They saw the pool, jumped in and swam. Then they kissed and hugged each other close – it was a dream. They lay on the bank drying out, and he looked in her eyes – he was lost as was she. They kissed again, and he grabbed her close feeling his erection rubbing up against her body. “Help me,” he whispered to her, and she understood. Grabbing his ardour she relieved him before they committed an act that was against their tradition. For them it would not have mattered, that day had sealed their commitment to each other – and it had. Once his back was emptied they lay their together, and even more so they learnt about each other and how they wanted to be together. This was part of love that a young man and woman should always have before they start off in life together, a part that they can remember when life throws difficulties at them. Their love was for each other first - as well as for their children, the land and the Naakon.

Whenever he came here Garpor always felt a greater commitment when he returned home. One time she had come up with him again but it was a one-time memory, and it was best left at that. Somehow it was Garpor who needed the land to provide some discipline. His memories recharged him, he ate and gradually he drifted off to sleep by the pool.

The cold instinctively wakened him, and he knew it was time to go down. He looked up at the sun and realised that it would just be getting dark before he reached Khanti hut (as he called it) – the place on the land they tended which was nearest Muban. He must rush – not that he minded, and arrived at the hut just after dark. There was sufficient food in the hut – he had left some of their hardy roots, he boiled them up and slept early.

Next morning a nightmare woke him – he woke with a cold sweat and found it hard to breathe. He focussed on his breathing – deep breathing until gradually his lungs returned to normal. The nightmare was disturbing, and he reflected on it:-

Khanti and he were walking in the town of the Mubans, and she bumped into a Muban. The next there were uniforms and a lofty voice saying “The Nagual and Mubans must live together”. In the background there was a monk flying off into the distance saying “Live together under Kajaa …aaaaaaaaaaaaa” Garpor then had a rope around his neck and then it wasn’t Garpor but Kunyino with the rope. She tried to pull it off … and she seemed to explode.

It disturbed him but it had no meaning for him. He ate, and went outside to see what he could prepare for next time. He had a patch, and there were a few veg left. But he must scour around, but then he looked in the distance. There was something not right, he walked – not far – in the direction of the Mubans, and there it was – the source of his nightmare – the Muban fence. What was happening? Naakon land had no fences, it belonged to all. What was the need of fences? This sort of thing must be what Rindo had talked about, and it was now impacting Garpor? He was lost, it was not his way.

His first instinct was to go over and rip it down but that violence was not Naakon; what would NaAgu show him to do? He followed the fence round and round … round; he began to think of it as the Mubanyek fence – the fence that separated the Mubans from the Naakon. Exhausted and exasperated he went home – it was not a time to make decisions.

Feeling something was wrong Khanti sensitively said “you don’t look good.”

He laughed at her, he loved that bluntness in her; and the laugh blew away the clouds that had grown in him on the way home. He knew he could clear his mind by talking with Khanti. “Can I wash and eat?” he asked not needing any permission.

He briefly glossed over most of his trip – mainly to put her at ease about their favourite place, and then he came to the fence that he described in detail – how it seemed to stretch forever. “There are big changes,” she agreed “I know this is selfish but does it really affect us now?”

He was silent.

“Is it best not left to a time when it is necessary to respond?” she asked not really believing what she said.

“Perhaps not the best,” he answered but the easiest. And procrastination won out – could anything have been done? *-*-* Garpor’s son, Sartau, was one of the few Naakon who had been persuaded to attend the meeting, who wants to meet with a Muban? Yet all the Naakon had been worried about the increased fencing, and that building “Department of Nagual Affairs”, the Mubans had the cheek to call it. Anger at such arrogance was enough to keep most of the Naakon away.

The Muban addressing the meeting was named Dighto, and she began by greeting them and thanking them for coming. Her politeness, whilst noted, did nothing to assuage the hostility. “I have some very bad news for you, it is something beyond my control. The mining companies will be excavating for Dymeurcer, a rare metal that is used in our Commset.” She held up a small thin box – no more than 3 inches long and 2 inches wide “Every Muban uses a Commset.”

“What does a commset do?” came a question from the audience.

“We can talk to each other at a distance, when I am here I can comm my husband to find out how the family are doing,” she answered.

“Do you not want to see your husband?” jibed a man at the back “my wife and I prefer to meet.” The audience laughed.

“Unfortunately because of my job I am forced to stay out here at the Department of Nagual Affairs,” she said genuinely “and so I cannot see him – my family.” As soon as she said the words she knew she had made a mistake.

“Friend Dighto,” Sartau asked “this department of Naguals. What is its purpose? And,” he paused for effect using the silence “if it is a department of Nagual affairs how often do you meet the Naakon? Do you ask Naakon about their affairs?”

This was the question the audience and come to hear asked, Dighto was resigned to the fact that she had opened the door but it had never been possible to avoid. In a way she also wanted it although she knew she had lost control.

Back at the government offices in central Mubanrao there was of course much discussion – mostly to avoid the truth. Government was elected but Naguals never voted. She knew they never wanted to vote but they were devoted to their land. What was going on with their land was an absolute disgrace for a supposed representative democracy. These Nagual kept themselves to themselves, they never hurt any Mubans, and early on there had even been a symbiosis between the dying Kajaa and their own wisdom, NaAgu. She was a bit of a traditionalist, all this science it ignored so much; she knew that Kajaa could never be resurrected and was relegated to the corridors of the dying-out Doms but she was still interested in it. She had pushed for the assignment at the Department of Nagual Affairs because she wanted to know about NaAgu – but no pushing was needed as of course no-one wanted to go there.

Now at this meeting she knew personally why no-one wanted to go there. These people saw her as the enemy, and whatever lay in her heart her position was that of puppet of the enemy – the mining companies not the government she thought.

“Whilst Nagual ways have remained constant through the years,” she started cautiously …

“For the good of NaAgu,” came a heckle that had a resounding cheer.

“Ways in Mubanrao have changed radically in the last 100 years,” she continued despite further heckling “And the ways that Mubanrao has changed is now going to affect your land.”

“We do not own the land, it is not our land – it is just land,” spoke Sarpau “Kunyino graciously allows us to live in the land, and we return her grace by taking care of it.”

She noted the NaAgu reference, it was everyday speak – maybe Kajaa was like that once. “The mining companies now want that land to excavate for dymeurcer. I have come here to explain this, and try to help you with the situation.”

“There is no situation,” jumped up Rargo “this land is Nagual and Naakon take care of Kunyino and her grace.” They all cheered.

“I have to be open with you,” she said cautiously “and I know you don’t want to hear it. But the mining companies are going to come and your lives are going to change.” The audience jumped up in anger screaming at her. Their anger and shouting fired them up and the noise became deafening, and fuelled the anger further. And anger fuelled violence and several Naakon moved ominously to the stage. There was menace, great menace, Dighto was completely frightened – she had no idea what to do.

Sarpau rushed on stage, and stood in front of Dighto. He spoke but the noise was so loud no-one heard. Dighto gave him the microphone, and he spoke into it and jumped. He spoke again, this time more in control of himself “Are we Naakon or angry cheewits? Kunyino watches us, is this what we do with her grace?” The shouting began to subside. “Showing our anger here at this Dighto will not help,” he continued “is she the mining companies?”

“Yes she is,” they shouted but Sarpau had brought sense back to the room; Naakon did not behave like this. “The Department of Nagual Affairs is here to help you,” she said. Then she took the mike and repeated it.

Sarpau took the mike “I don’t like what I am hearing. I am Kunyino like all of you but if this lady has something to say and if she says she is here to help, we should listen. We don’t have to agree but for the sake of Kunyino we should control our anger and listen.”

“The companies are not interested in disturbing your lives,” Dighto began quoting the government line. “They want to come here and look for dymeurcer. Their scientists have suggested that there are dymeurcer deposits higher up in Naakon land, and they wish to investigate. They want to do this with your blessing but …” she was interrupted.

A heckler at the back stood up and said “They will do it anyway.” His timing was impeccable. Sarpau had silenced the Naakon, and their intelligence was controlling their anger. And then there was this resounding warning that had truth written all the way through it.

Breaking the brief silence he introduced himself “I am Nordon. I am Muban and this is your meeting but please may I come to speak to you.” His recognition of their power allowed him on stage.

“This lady, Dighto, is government, and she is not the real power here,” he smiled at her anger towards him. Her meeting was now completely a shambles as she knew where he came from – not personally did she know him but she knew.

Nordon continued “The mining companies are so powerful, they don’t need to come here.”

“I am Muban but not all Mubans are acting together,” he listened to the puzzlement “Naakon has NaAgu, praise Kunyino, but although Mubans used to have Kajaa now they don’t. There are only a few with Kajaa, and the rest are all divided …

Now he had their interest and continued “Although I am Muban I am one of those Mubans who are “neighbours” of the Nagual. I say “neighbours” but we were never neighbours because we didn’t meet. We had our land next to the Naakon but we were not the same. But we looked after our cheewits, provided food for the centre, and lived a peaceful life. … “Until the mining companies come,” he shouted and then paused with drama. “We had never followed the affairs of government even though they were our government – we never voted, and we didn’t know the companies were coming. They came, and they found their damn metal. In our case the metal was close to where our house was, and they just tore it down. Within a day the home that had stood for generations had been turned into a mine digging into the ground for their dymeurcer. We lost our home and moved to a different part of our land where we built a new home and have lived ever since. “Other Mubans have been less fortunate. I know of one family who had been there for generations. All their land turned out to be a rich dym deposit, and they were kicked off their land. The government rehoused them by taking land from some other Mubans and saying this is their new home. And of course neither family were happy. “This is where the government do have power, they have the power to help the mining companies get what they want. Instead of Kajaa and compassion we now have law, law written by elected officials, written by people whose livelihood is ultimately controlled by the companies – written by people who have long since given up on Kajaa …

“And they have given up on NaAgu,” he finished there for the moment. And he watched as it slowly dawned on the Naakon that their life, Kunyino’s heritage, was under threat.

“We will fight for Kunyino,” one stood up and several joined him their anger returning.

“How?” answered Nordon confrontationally “There are many miners. These miners have families and they need what the miners can bring home for them. And if there are not enough miners then the companies will bring security. And the purpose of this security is to protect the miners – at whatever cost. And elsewhere lives have been lost.

“If you fight you lose,” warned Nordon. “Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying “don’t fight” but you will lose.”

“This lady, this government stooge,” he pointed demonstrably at her “has come to find a solution that does not involve violence. The companies don’t care about violence, they want and will get the metal. But the job of government is to try and prevent violence. If this is what you want she can help. “I have told you what she won’t tell you,” he finished “this department has no power, are willing to help a little so long as the companies get their metal. And if she is not successful you will die. This is the truth. Get angry – however you want, but this is the truth.” He sat down.


Lines on Colwil maps were drawn depending on the mines. Some cooperating Naakon got deeds for their land and others died, whilst homes were demolished, many families were moved, and slowly what had once been Kunyino’s grace and the home of NaAgu became a land ravaged in places by commsets.

“Africa was once the birth of civilisation. In places it was the birth of genuine democracy. For centuries life ticked on there. It was not always peaceful as tribe fought tribe but there was a flourishing life there – whilst in Europe there were dark ages and the US was still indigenous. Changes started in Spain when they went to the Americas and plundered its gold. Wars were fought in Europe and Britain controlled the gold. With gold British society changed and there grew a need for resources, resources that were available in Africa.

“Meanwhile in China they had developed gunpowder which was traded with the British who then brought the gun to Africa. The British needed farmers in their colonies so they started the slave trade where African farmers then worked the land. Gradually most of the young dynamic people of Africa had been transported halfway across the world to develop resources and bring wealth to the British.

“However the British still need the resources in Africa to work their mines and grow their produce. Why would the Africans work for them? African life had survived for centuries through trade and barter but the British need a way of making these people work for them. So they introduced taxes. By taxing this meant that people needed money to pay taxes. Slowly this meant that Africans had to end the barter economy that had helped civilisations survive, and had now to work for the man to pay the man’s taxes.”

The Annals of Samsarapho – Divide and Rule Colonialism