Monday, December 15, 2008

The Story of Hugo Mugo (4)

The Well

The next morning he woke up and found several packs of food and water near him. He felt really indebted to the Hugo Mugo people for taking good care of him. After finishing his breakfast, he took a walk outside his tent. The Hugo Mugo Tribe lived in a river delta that opened up to the sea. There were about several hundreds of people living together. This was considered a big tribe at that time. The young men like Kiro would go out and fish everyday while the women would draw water from nearby wells. He felt it was strange that the people drank water from wells instead of from the river. There seemed to be some kind of water rationing going on as well. The water was scooped into packets of leaves before being passed on to the people. There were also people guarding the wells. 

Kiro saw him and waved for him to come over. Kiro said "Come, let's go and see the tribal doctor."

Inside the tribal doctor's tent; "You must not drink from the river. It will make you even more sick. The river is not Hugo Mugo." the tribal doctor said.

"In the meantime, since you cannot remember your name, we shall call you Kono, which means The Connection. You have a connection with us." the tribal doctor said.
He nodded in agreement. Kiro brought him out and handed him two more packs of water. He told him this was all for the rest of the day, and to drink it only when he was thirsty.

Kono now understood why the wells were guarded. The Hugo Mugo had limited supply of water and for some reasons, they were not to drink from the river. 

Kiro turned and said, "I am going out to fish now, you can stay here and walk around. Just make sure you do not go to the tents at the corner facing the sun. They are houses of our Tribal headsman and the Hugo Masters. When you are better, we will go fishing together."

Kiro was walking around and he found a new sense of serenity. He didn't know why, but he felt his heart at peace. He went over to the people guarding the well and started a conversation with one of the people guarding the well. The well was considered very sacred to the Hugo Mugo tribe. Hugo Mugo was not only the name of the tribe but was also the word for culture and religion. If something was considered to be not Hugo Mugo, it meant that something was against the culture and religion of the tribe. This was the only well where drinking water was fetched. There were other wells which the water was yellowish and was meant only for washing or other non-consumption purposes. 

Kono saw the well and a sense of Déjà Vu struck him. He seemed to be able to feel the well. He walked around the well, and noticed the ground was barren. This seemed like something that he had known for all his life. He walked another fifty metres and saw a familiar sight, Pias plants. He knew that whenever there were Pias plants, it meant there was underground water nearby.   

Kono began to track around the Hugo Mugo tribe and he noticed two kilometres away from the tribe, there was a place which he believed to be a place good for digging a well. Out of gut feel, he started digging with his bare hands. He knew he must have digged twenty meters down, a hole of twenty centimetres across. After which, he found an empty coconut shell small enough to fit the twenty centimetres hole. He tied it with some nearby string-like ferns . He dropped the coconut shell into the hole. The action of hitting the dirt broke up the soil, which filled up the coconut shell. He repeated the action and soon he made a bigger hole.

The people in the Hugo Mugo Tribe saw what he was doing and started to gather around him. They cheered each time the coconut was brought up. Finally they saw water in the well. Everyone was excited with joy. By that time, Kiro was back from his fishing trip. He also felt excited to learn that the person he brought back had found and dug a well for his tribe. Something that was of utmost importance to the survival of the tribe. Kono became an instant celebrity in the tribe.

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