Mella and the N'anga
An African TalePaperback - 2005
Ages 8 to 13 years. Mella lives in the long-ago time when the place we now call Zimbabwe was known as the Land of the People. Within the great hilltop town of Mopopoto, Mella's beloved father, the King, lies gravely ill. Beyond the high stone walls, the land has been overcome by drought and unrest grows between the warrior tribes of the kingdom. Senior Sister, one of the wisest elders in the town, has taught Mella the forbidden song that will call the Great N'anga, a strange and powerful figure who is viewed with suspicion by most townspeople. The N'anga comes to the town in answer to her call and chooses three girls to train in the ways of the ancient Daughters of the Hunt. The girls learn the skills of the hunt, the ways of the forest and, when the N'anga and Senior Sister think they are ready, are initiated into the ways of the ancient sacred drum, which has lain hidden and waiting for decades for a worthy girl to bring it to life again in a time of need. Mella learns from the N'anga that the only way to restore her father's health is to seek out the much-feared Python Healer, a perilous journey that few would undertake. When Mella's brother, the warrior Dikita, fails to bring back the Python Healer, Mella knows there is only one thing to do: she must face the Python Healer herself. In this tale of courage and wisdom, Gail Nyoka brings to life a mythic time and gives us a fascinating glimpse of society in ancient Africa.
Publisher: Toronto : Sumach Press, c2005.
Characteristics: 158 pages ;,20 cm.