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White baboon spawns fear in Hurungwe
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White baboon spawns fear in Hurungwe

By Isdore Guvamombe recently in HURUNGWE
May 22, 2010

ON the night of February 22, 2010, villagers in Kapare communal lands, Chief Dendera’s area in Hurungwe, were awakened by a rare sound coming from the direction of their fields.

In the dead of night, an excited whoop had erupted from deep in their fields and was boosted immediately by another voice.

The two voices — which were clearly not human — rose to a frenzied shrieking crescendo. The whoops, pants, hoots and screams were more explicit at dawn, forcing six villagers to go and investigate at sunrise.

Much to their surprise, they saw two baboons, one of them an albino, sit and preen each other’s glossy coats and typical of baboons, they slowly, tentatively and arrogantly ambled away.

But it was the white baboon that left the villagers in this highly superstitious chiefdom, awe-stricken and perplexed. It was a rare spectacle in this society, although white baboons or albino baboons have been spotted elsewhere in Central and Southern Africa, including Zambia.

Albinism arises from gene mutations that affect the production of normal skin pigmentation.

But as the two male baboons were spotted in several places thereafter, the chiefdom became agog with theories, speculation, truths, half-truths and lies. The talk included those who had seen the baboons and those who had not had even a glimpse of the baboons.

"My people came to report to me as their chief but I did not see the baboons myself. I sat with my committee and we agreed that it was taboo that would bring untold abominations to this chiefdom.

"I am an old man in my late 70s but ever since I was born I have not seen an albino baboon. Not even those who were old when I was young told me about albino baboons.

"There are people here who disobey our culture. They are breaking the laws of this land. They do not respect Sabbath. Our ancestors are angry with us,’’ said a visibly worried Chief Makerechani Dendera, three months down the line.

While science has explained recessive genes in baboons and many animal species that cause albinism, the villagers in Kapare panicked and began blaming their spirits for cursing them.

For one reason or the other sighting the baboons became infrequent at the beginning of March but whether by coincidence or not, a heavy hailstorm swept across the communal lands destroying hundreds of hectares of tobacco and maize crop leaving 80 families homeless.

The media were awash with the stories of the wind and rain calamity but the villagers believe they were scratching the surface.

All was blamed and is still blamed on the white baboon.

Last week, village head Storbat Chamba (56), who is the chairman of 30 village heads in the Kapare area, took the news crew around the communal lands, showing the destruction caused by the hailstorm, blamed on the baboons.

He also tried to locate the white baboon without success as villagers claimed that they had last seen it a day or two earlier.

We tracked the baboons in the array of hillocks, the riverine vegetation, the stunted bush shrubbery, open vleis and valley but could not locate them.

"The baboons brought the calamity. I am 56 years old and I grew up here. I have not seen a white baboon before. I have not witnessed the hailstorm that brought such destruction so in the end, we blamed it on the white baboon.

"You are telling me that the baboon is an albino. Where on earth have you seen an albino baboon? Everyone here is terrified.

"We have been plunged into hunger by the appearance of that baboon. Once the white baboon appeared, there came a storm a few weeks later and destroyed all the crops, especially tobacco and maize.

"Now we need food assistance,’’ Mr Chamba said.

Albinism (from Latin albus, "white"; also called achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis) is a congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans. The most common term used for an organism affected by albinism is "albino". Additional clinical adjectives sometimes used to refer to animals are "albinoid" and "albinic".

Albinism is associated with a number of visual defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus and astigmatism. Lack of skin pigmentation makes the organism more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers.

Except for human beings who have devised survival methods, most albinic wild animals do not live longer due to exposure.

Because individuals with albinism have skin that partially or entirely lacks the dark pigment melanin, which helps protect the skin from the sun’s ultra-violet radiation, their skin can burn more easily from overexposure.

The albinistic individuals are generally as healthy as the rest of the population, with growth and development occurring as normal, and albinism by itself does not cause mortality, although the lack of pigment increases the risk of skin cancer and other problems.

When science and superstition collide, the subject suffers. Hopefully, the albino baboon will not be killed by the superstitious.

l isadore.guvamombe@zimpapers.co.zw


Kathi

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Posts: 7762 | Location: Chicago | Registered: 23 July 2003Reply With Quote
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For the right package of hunting licenses and fees, I can be coaxed into sorting out said Albino. I'll need at least 120 days of hunting practice (will use available game to practice on) before taking out said Albino, which no doubt is a Sorcerer in Baboon form. Chief should call me at BR-549. Ask for Lucky Bwana.
LDK


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"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading" - Thomas Jefferson

Every morning the Zebra wakes up knowing it must outrun the fastest Lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning the Lion wakes up knowing it must outrun the slowest Zebra or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a Zebra or a Lion; when the Sun comes up in Africa, you must wake up running......

"If you're being chased by a Lion, you don't have to be faster than the Lion, you just have to be faster than the person next to you."
 
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I need a white baboon for my trophy room! Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by L. David Keith:
Chief should call me at BR-549. Ask for Lucky Bwana.
LDK


HAHAHA!! Glad to see I'm not the only one that enjoys re-runs of Hee Haw!! Big Grin


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Posts: 2948 | Location: Hockley, TX | Registered: 01 October 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Eland Slayer:
quote:
Originally posted by L. David Keith:
Chief should call me at BR-549. Ask for Lucky Bwana.
LDK


HAHAHA!! Glad to see I'm not the only one that enjoys re-runs of Hee Haw!! Big Grin


I don't know about re-runs, I remember it when it was in production. I only watched it for the girls in the short shorts and midriff tops though. Big Grin


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Posts: 11555 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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ES, to be honest, I posted that number because I met Jr. Samples long ago in Tootsie's (nashville landmark watering hole in downtown). He was being pestered by the usual autograph seekers. So realizing he was looking for an out, I mentioned Bass fishing. We had a great visit and I found him to be a very nice man who loved the outdoors and fishing was a passion. He told some whopper fishing tales, all in good fun. He was a funny guy.
LDK


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http://forums.accuratereloadin...=810104007#810104007
16 Days in Zimbabwe: Leopard, plains game, fowl and more:
http://forums.accuratereloadin...=212108409#212108409
Natal: Rhino, Croc, Nyala, Bushbuck and more
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6341092311
Recent hunt in the Eastern Cape, August 2010: Pics added
http://forums.accuratereloadin...261039941#9261039941
10 days in the Stormberg Mountains
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/7781081322
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http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6001078232

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading" - Thomas Jefferson

Every morning the Zebra wakes up knowing it must outrun the fastest Lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning the Lion wakes up knowing it must outrun the slowest Zebra or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a Zebra or a Lion; when the Sun comes up in Africa, you must wake up running......

"If you're being chased by a Lion, you don't have to be faster than the Lion, you just have to be faster than the person next to you."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Use Enough Gun:
I need a white baboon for my trophy room! Big Grin


Me too!! I have two or three brown skins in the freezer, maybe I can get my taxidermist to bleach one white! Big Grin
 
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jumping
 
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Who makes this crap up? rotflmo


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathi:
All was blamed and is still blamed on the white baboon.

I sat with my committee and we agreed that it was taboo that would bring untold abominations to this chiefdom.


Call me superstitious if you must, but there is much truth in those sentiments.


Mike

An ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory.
 
Posts: 10368 | Location: New England | Registered: 06 June 2003Reply With Quote
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Oh yeah?
Well, I met Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) at a Sambo's Pancake House in Nashville, back when he was making appearances on Hee Haw ... just passing through for breakfast. hilbily
 
Posts: 25026 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With Quote
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Regarding white baboons and luck,
both Junior Samples and Goober Pyle did OK,
and this one seems to have been lucky for Saeed:

 
Posts: 25026 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by RIP:
Regarding white baboons and luck,
both Junior Samples and Goober Pyle did OK,
and this one seems to have been lucky for Saeed:



That's a white "Bearboon" ... coffee
 
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