“Wait, women, stay silent, do not go out of your gardens, be ready to run and save the pigs.”
1:30 As on any other afternoon, the clouds come back to cover the sky and then lower to bring the afternoon rain. Lus has started a fire in the unventilated house; she can’t stop talking. Some men going by with their bows and arrows call out: “Wait, women, stay silent, do not go out of your gardens, be ready to run and save the pigs.” Some of these men live in the cities and work in government offices. But when there is a war and their clan is in danger, they come back and take up their bows and arrows again.
2:00 During the deafening thunder and heavy rain, each woman has gone back to her own fire. In front of Lus, the sweet potatoes are cooking in the ashes. She reads the Bible and sings a “God’s song”, while her daughter Mule runs through the rain to move the “ploughing” pigs to a new part of the field.
“They want war”
4:00 Homoko Alembo stops by his wives’ houses to bring them the news. The problem is serious. A week ago, a drunken man of the Ewara clan died in a car accident, but as the Huli believe in sorcery, the clan did not accept the doctor’s autopsy verdict. They have accused Homoko Alembo’s Pitapaya clan of casting an evil spell on them and when he tried to talk to the “big men” of the Ewara clan, they refused to hear him – or the police. “They want war,” he says, “and in retaliation they killed the son of my brother yesterday, hitting him on the forehead with an axe, and now today an old man with an arrow usually used to kill pigs.” Homoko Alembo’s clan now also wants battle, because the Ewara clan has broken unspoken rules of war: not to kill children, women or old people, and never to kill someone by hitting them in the face. So there will be a war, and he tells his wives: “Stay home, women: do not go far; and yes, you must all go to the funerals.”