A MONGO HOMECOMING by Mary & Robin McKown Elting


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Congolese Pauline's story of her visit to her grandparents' fishing village, told to Robin McKown and retold by her with Mary Elting, lacks the personality and vitality of Louis Mofsie's Hopi homecoming (above); but, once past the stiff what-is-it-like introduction and the slow what-it-is-like opening chapters, what it is really like to proceed from modern Kinshasa to a tradition-bound enclave emerges in interesting, often surprising ways. One is prompted to consider with Pauline a medical doctor vis a vis a doctor-magician, a carriage vs. holding a baby close, a woman talking back to her husband vs. one answering her husband by scolding the chickens, the private telephone vs. the talking drum that everyone can hear. And in the course of her stay Pauline, like Louis, fits into a new way of life and enjoys being part of an extended family. The drawings are adequately illustrative but no more; the two maps are less than adequate, neglecting even to locate Kinshasa. Generally more reliable and perceptive than pleasurably readable.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1969
Publisher: Evans--dist. by Lippincott