The 'Dance for the Half-Child' as it was performed in the 1960 production

DEAD WOMAN: Better not to know the bearing Better not to bear the weaning I who grow the branded navel Shudder at the visitation Shall my breast again be severed Again and yet again be severed From its right and sanctity? Child, your hand is pure as sorrow Free me of the endless burden, Let this gourd, let this gourd Break beyond my hearth . . . [The Half-Child continues slowly towards the Mother, Eshuoro imperiously offering his hand, furious as each step takes the child nearer her. Looks up sharply and finds Ogun on the other side of the woman, with hand similarly outstretched. Snaps his fingers suddenly at the Interpreter. A clap of drums, and the Interpreter begins another round of ampe with the Third Triplet. The Woman's hand and the Half-Child's are just about to meet when this happens, and the child turns instantly, attracted by the game. Hanging carelessly from the hand of the Half-Child is the wood figure of an ibeji which he has clutched from his first appearance. Eshuoro waits until he is totally mesmerized by the Jester's antics, snatches it off him and throws it to the Third Triplet. It jerks the Half-Child awake and he runs after it. Third Triplet, the Interpreter and Eshuoro toss the ibeji to one another while the child runs between them trying to recover it, but they only taunt him with it and throw it over his head. The

-87-

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A Dance of the Forests
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  • Title Page iii
  • Part One 3
  • Part Two 44
  • The 'Dance for the Half-Child' as It Was Performed In the 1960 Production 87
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