My Dear Heart: Do not be too sorrowful and upset on account of this letter.  God’s will be done.  Tomorrow at ten they will cut off my head and your brother’s, too.  Today we pardoned each other with all our heart.  Therefor I ponder this letter and ask you for everlasting forgiveness.  If I have …

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We came from Sena, we crossed Pusela, we rebuilt Sena.  In Sena they died like flies.  We came from Hundje, to Chilimani.  From Chilimanin to Wedza.  The tribes went to Zimbabwe.  They built the walls and lived on the hill.  Mwali sent the star.  From Zimbabwe to Mberengwe.  From Mberengwe to Dumghe.  We carried the …

  • February 22, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Lost Tribe

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Successfully passing down cultural folktales is vital for a society that wishes to continue through the ages. Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm brothers were wildly successful at making sure native tales would not be forgotten.  Geoffrey of Monmouth firmly established the British King Arthur in the popular imagination. Croatia had its own passer-of-tales in …

  • September 21, 2020
  • Comments Off on The Lady’s Slavic Fairy Tales

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There is something intriguing about Ethiopia.  The only Jewish nation in Africa, mentioned in the Bible in the person of the legendary Makeda, the Queen of Sheba. It was Makeda’s son Menilek I who founded the Solomonic Dynasty that ruled Ethiopia, with an interruption of a few hundred years in the Middle Ages, until 1974. …

  • July 15, 2020
  • Comments Off on A Dynasty Continues

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What do a Roman Emperor, a medieval Balkan nation, the devil, and 2020 have in common? A name – Dukljan. Depending on the person doing the talking, Emperor Diocletian (who was born in what is now Solin, Croatia), was either terrible in his murderousness or a successful reformer of bureaucracy who  abdicated rather than overstay …

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This traditional poem from the Shona people of Zimbabwe is quite erotic! It is sung in private – from a husband to a wife – in praise of her sensual abilities. Thank you very much, Madam Nyemba! The single mother of one, Chivazve’s daughter,The Chivazves, who hunt elephants.Thank you, you of the girdle at the delicate …

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Vampires are from Serbia. They aren’t attractive, either. The question is – are vampires real? That is the question addressed in Kiss of the Butterfly by James Lyon. With the action taking place back and forth between centuries, the story follows grad student Stephen Roberts as he researches ancient folklore in a war-ravaged former Yugoslavia. …

  • May 8, 2020
  • Reading , Review
  • Comments Off on Kiss of the Butterfly – a Review

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