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65 10 The Stone On my last day in the Highlands of West Papua, a Lani man I came to know gave me his precious possession, a black stone some four inches long strangely marked with thick white lines and thin white lines intersecting in the zones the thick lines squared off. It is oval in shape and smooth and nestles in the palm of my hand. He gave me to understand that he carried it with him whenever he left his compound to go into the jungle, and was giving it now to me to guide me on my onward wanderings . He had seen that every day I wandered about without any discernible objective or goal, and understood that I had wandered over the planet to New Guinea without any task or project. Older white travelers would say that this stone is for the Papuan a fetish. What is it for me? It is not really a cherished souvenir of his friendship ; in fact I can no longer remember very clearly what he looked like. Yet I am so often drawn again to this stone; it summons me. ...


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MARC Record
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