The Feather of Glory ( a Novella )

Posted: February 27, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in David Aoloch
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By David Aoloch Bion

Chapter Ten

It was the middle of the dry season. All cattle camps had moved to Toc pastures along the great river. It was a habit that young men or girls could not spend the dry season at homesteads. In the village it was hot and dusty since wind blew so much. Those who stayed were poor to endure hot and thirsty conditions.

One evening Madut Kuol had fastened the bundle of horsetail at the tip of white and black bull and a big gong on the neck of the black bull. He drove out two bulls to Abuk Deng’s cattle camp for a night singing. He sang for the whole night. All girls and boys lost their nights sleep to listen to their classic songs. Madut Kuol’s songs talked about beauty of his bull and his engagement girl; beauty and glory of his clan.

In the morning, Abuk Deng and his sisters took the bulls outside the camp for oil anointment ceremony. Madut and his bull were washed with cow butter of in present all including Abuk’s father and brothers. The oil ointment was a sign of girl appreciation of the songs and the men’s gentleness. By this time Madut’s popularity increased because of his songs, his wrestling strength, his bravery in rescuing of abducted children and rustled cattle by the warriors of an enemy tribes.

When all cattle were returned from Toc the greenest pastures to homestead, Madut Kuol announced his plan of marrying Abuk Deng. There are many types of marriage in the Boralian tribe. First and the most important is Riong wedding, in Riong wedding, more than One Hundred cattle were paid as bride price. It is the most expensive one and is for the rich. There is Kenywedding where about thirty to fifty cattle are given as bride price. There is Liec wedding where the girl is impregnated at her father’s home and Kuel wedding where the girl is eloped. All these types take fewer cattle.

Madut and Abuk had chosen Riong type of wedding. The news of Madut Riong spread to all villages. Some two other men tried to compete with Madut for Abuk but they were knocked out of race early. One man was rejected by parents because he was from an evil-eyed family and another one was rejected because he had few cattle. Abuk’s parents chose Madut because of his handsomeness and the many cattle he had.

The Riong wedding was organized with big two dances by Madut’s clan. They danced at Abuk’s home.

After Riong dancing, Abuk remained in her father’s home and her father went to Madut’s cattle camp. Deng the father of Abuk took one hundred and seventy cattle as a bride price for his daughter and four bulls were slaughtered as a wedding meal.

After the cattle were taken, Madut came with two hundred entourages to take his wife-Abuk Deng.

As it was a Riong wedding, the father of Abuk gave a heifer to his son-in-law Madut asAlokthok is a cow given to the son in-law or father in-law as a sign of respect and honour so that he could eat at his in-law’s home. And the father of Abuk gave a fat bull to be eaten by his daughter’s guests.

Before the guests could eat, they lined up for choosing ceremony, where the girl could choose the man as mockery husband they could go and cook food for them. The bride came first.

Abuk came and picked her husband Madut, she was followed by her uncle’s daughter Ayen Nhial who chose her mockery husband. It was a worse ceremony if an ugly girl choose you, you had to refuse her before the crowd. Some girls were crying because they were refused by the men they had chosen. After the choice, the girl could go and cook food and bring it to the man she had chosen.

When the meat had been cooked and all girls had come with their food. Abuk, the bride came with a calabash of meat, she put it in the middle sitting floor. She went straight to her bride groom Madut, held his hand and brought to eat. Each of them (Abuk and Madut) picked a small of meat and ate as a green light for all to eat. Then the two entourages started eating. After the meal, the parent of Abuk came to hand over the bride. Her entourage put this song.

Abuk was wearing a leopard skin and adorned with greenest wedding bead. She walked out on her sitting on mats entourage in great adoration for Madut and his clan. She was holding graceful bending long beautiful white ostrich feather. She talked in an eagletic tone.

“I great you all, all my respected, loved and handsome guests. Madut Kuol has married me with a great wealth – a great wealth of cattle, and I have married him with this feather, The Feather of Glory. And this feather of glory is the only prestigious thing I must honour him on earth” Abuk said as she was putting the ostrich feather on the red ash treated hair of Madut.

You will always wear it wherever and whenever you go for occasion – occasions like dancing, wrestling, singing, judging, hunting and fighting”.

“If you fail to wear it for one occasion I will refuse to eat food.”

“If you fail to wear it for two occasions I will divorce” Abuk swore solemnly on 11-7-7051 RCP.

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