A living gift

by Désirée Martine Soutonnoma

Guilt (Issue II/2019)

Chickens have a social significance. Both in the country and in the city, they are handed over on occasions like weddings or funerals, but also are commonly given as a gift at other times. They are a sign of respect and joy, and, the fact is, most farmers have nothing else to give. People of all ages and genders are presented with the gift of a chicken, held by its tied feet so that it does not flutter away. Sometimes the donor kneels. But if he is socially higher, it is the other way round and the person receiving the present kneels. He can either eat the bird or keep it for breeding. However, it is frowned upon to simply pass on the chicken as a gift to someone else.

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