Like their ancestors

Like their ancestors - to cook to survive. Even in...

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Like their ancestors, the boys rely on oral tradition and storytelling to both entertain and  to explain the world around them. To pass the time one night, Musa tells the story of Bra  Spider who also struggled for food and survival. Listening to Musa's story reminds  Ishmael of similar evenings listening to stories around his grandmother's campfire. Oral  storytelling also plays a key role in the ceremonies of the village, and Ishmael is  reminded of the tales told the night of his name-giving ceremony. The descriptions of the ceremony reveal a traditional culture with clearly defined male  and female roles. The women prepare the food and dress to impress each other. The  men lead the ceremonies and smoke together. The gender roles are tested in these  times of war as women have to learn to defend themselves and boys like Ishmael have 
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Unformatted text preview: to cook to survive. Even in desperate times, the burial customs are enforced. When Saidu dies, his body must be wrapped in white linen and placed in a wooden coffin. An elder man helps the boys have a funeral service and leads them to a burial ground. Saidu's body must be buried before nightfall or they must take the body from the village. The burial ground has row after row of mounds of freshly dug graves, many of them anonymous. Ishmael's grief and uncertainty overwhelm him. All of the boys sob when they leave the village. Though he feels like he his abandoning his friend by leaving Saidu's body, he knows that they must continue travelling if they hope to live....
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