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Hemingway Adventure

Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Chyulu Hills, Kenya 
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The surgeon's equipment.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureThere is no sound from the boy as, clutching his penis, he is carried back into the compound by his friends and into one of the low mud huts. It is considered to be very important not to cry out or acknowledge the pain. This restraint is known as emorata - what Hemingway might have called ‘grace under pressure’ - and is part of what makes a boy into a moran, a warrior.

The Masai are nomadic and this boma is a tem-porary refuge for thirty families, some hundred and eighty people, who are joined at night by their livestock. The floor is a soft layer of trodden animal dung. Clouds of flies gather instantly at mouth, nose and eyes.

Three young warriors, only a little older than the boy, select a cow and fire an arrow into its jugular, swiftly placing a gourd beneath the wound to draw off blood. A coagulant on the tip of the arrow seals the incision and not a drop of unwanted blood is spilled. The gourd is carried across to the boy’s hut, where his mother mixes it with milk into a pink slurry, the colour of strawberry yoghurt, which is taken indoors to be drunk by her son.
Chyulu Hills, Kenya 
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Taking blood from the cow.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Chyulu Hills, Kenya
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Chyulu Hills
  • Book page no: 178

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