Vagrancy, Permanence and the Sense of Home 4
I’m now bringing you the second part of the song Fishing for Our Father. Salia continues his search for the elusive njagbo. In the process, he abandons completely any adherence to historical facts and reality. If you remember, in the first section of the song he posits the narrative as taking place before the arrival of the British. But as I noted in “Vagrancy, Permanence… 1,” that was just a clever narrative/poetic device. Because Salia wants to talk about modern Sierra Leone, he lets himself dabble in all sorts of anachronisms. So we have planes and, later on, electricity. We have “Flenji boundi ma” (on the French border, read Guinea border). As he goes along it’s not just water courses that are named, but their relation to villages and chiefdoms. It’s a complete map, but not one with cold blue, sinuous lines drawn across a page. What Salia Koroma presents is a living, breathing map that only an extraordinary mind can conjure. There’s something daunting about this great feat of memory that Salia displays. It’s one thing to name rivers and streams, its another thing to relate them to each other, to demonstrate how one runs into another.
I hope you enjoy this latest instalment.
Check in the Salia Collection in the sidebar for Fishing for Our Father II