Negotiating Bride Price

Negotiating Bride Price ONE NIGHT, a year and a hatf Ulto our Solomon Island Peace Corps service, James, the school's vice principal, came to visit us. He announced himself near the front porch of our leaf-and-stick house. "Who-ee-oh," he cooed. vety black against the rim of the moon. Occasional clouds cast shad- My husband, Larry, and I emerged from behind our single wall to greet him on the porch. The weather was clear that night, the sky vel- ows as they passed between the bright moon and the earth. The air thumped out the rambunctious night tunes, the hooting and twittering squawk! of the jungle. James had entered from the side of our porch--a bark floor supported by bamboo-like studs and rafters. The walls behind us were large, over- lapping palm fronds stitched with vine. James stood on the scraped betel-nut-bark floor a proper Melanesian distance from us, respecting an even larger personal space than Americans occupied. Women in the Solomon Islands shouldn't address men directly when another man is around, so Larry talked to James whUe I admired his wide, weUrestrained by patent leather. caUused feet, the way his toes spread out. They'd obviously never been "I have good news," http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

Negotiating Bride Price

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Abstract

ONE NIGHT, a year and a hatf Ulto our Solomon Island Peace Corps service, James, the school's vice principal, came to visit us. He announced himself near the front porch of our leaf-and-stick house. "Who-ee-oh," he cooed. vety black against the rim of the moon. Occasional clouds cast shad- My husband, Larry, and I emerged from behind our single wall to greet him on the porch. The weather was clear that night, the sky vel- ows as they passed between the bright moon and the earth. The air thumped out the rambunctious night tunes, the hooting and twittering squawk! of the jungle. James had entered from the side of our porch--a bark floor supported by bamboo-like studs and rafters. The walls behind us were large, over- lapping palm fronds stitched with vine. James stood on the scraped betel-nut-bark floor a proper Melanesian distance from us, respecting an even larger personal space than Americans occupied. Women in the Solomon Islands shouldn't address men directly when another man is around, so Larry talked to James whUe I admired his wide, weUrestrained by patent leather. caUused feet, the way his toes spread out. They'd obviously never been "I have good news,"

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Oct 5, 2003

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