LITERALLY LOST: 8

The following excerpt has been taken from a classic work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place, and b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will supply pounds 30 of book tokens to the sender of the first correct answer pulled out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, 'Independent on Sunday', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Usual Newspaper Publishing competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by Thursday 20 November.

A HEAVILY muscled man with a raised scar on his right cheek, perhaps an old hunting wound, his loincloth arranged with a tail hanging down at the back, propped himself on the edge of a log some ten yards in front of us; between his knees he held a small drum, a tapered cylinder with skin both ends, lines of rolled twine stretched tight from one roundel of skin to the other.

The drummer shut his eyes, shook his head, opened his eyes, blew on his hands and began to play.

The women formed a circle, moving slowly one behind the other, picking up the drummer's fast, insistent rhythm only with the complex small steps of their bare feet, a dance that swayed their raffia and leaf skirts from side to side, a rippling undulation that matched the rise and dip of their high melodic song. The children set up a contrapunctual clapping, the men, over by the bachelors' lean-to, a low chant; it was both sophisticated and anarchic: an old woman, a band of cloth running tight beneath her armpits to hold her long breasts flat against her chest and stomach, wearing a cast-off wrap-around as a skirt, shuffled into the centre of the circle and begin a private dance, her arms stretched out straight and down in front of her, her hands shaped to the head of an imaginary child.

There was a shout, the screams of running children, over by the far side of the clearing; from the darkness, from a hut set back behind the others, a tall grey figure entered the open space, and in front of it Bakolo walked warily, shaking a gourd rattle, directing its movements. The figure began to whirl, coming closer - by the light of the fire we could see that its feet were bound in barkcloth, that it wore red trousers beneath a skirt of leaves, that the top half of its body was wrapped in barkcloth, that it had no arms, that its eyes were big black empty sockets, that its face was a gorilla skull.

Literally lost: 7

Last week's extract came from Robert Byron's 'The Road to Oxiana'. The action took place in Afghanistan. The winner was S Bailey, Oxford.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living