The Ishango bone
by Titinga Pacere
Sons of my fathers, the mystery of the number hangs this evening over the valley. And I read. And I count on my fingers the mysteries of Ishango.
11, 13, 17, 19 = 60. But 3, 6, 4, 8, 10, 5, 5, 7 = 48.
Sons, sons of my fathers; I miss...!, I miss the key. I will go, I will go early in the morning, accompanied by the first rays of the sun, in order to to decipher the nature. I will go, I will go early the morning on Akagera, on the muddy water of Kadiogo.
I will sing early in the morning in Manéga, Brussels or Ouagadougou, Paris or Silicon Valley : The Ishango bone has learned to me how to count.
And I read. And I count on my fingers the mystery of the earth. 11, 21, 19, 9 = 60. But 3, 6, 4, 8, 10, 5, 5, 7 = 48.
Sons of my fathers; I miss, I miss the key of the house. But I will return. I will return at the dawn of the seasons. When the fields are not any more fields, rivers are not anymore rivers, savannas are not anymore savannas.
Men of the alive complementarities. Termites of deep spiritualities. I will return at the dawn of the seasons, the axe on the shoulder, the couscous in the calebasse. I shall play on the tamtam the rhythms of the tropics. I shall dance under the fires of the ancestors.
And so their fathers created the laws, built the cities, invented great civilizations.
Told by Titing Pacere, during the creation of 'Oratorio Ishango' Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, November 2001. Translation by Daniel Schell.
C Titinga Pacere (Burkina Faso), Daniel Schell
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