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Rolfin's Orb
Book 11 - Diamond – Malawi

Main Characters

Angus McAllister – Fiona’s Uncle – her father’s older brother – age 50, lives in Inveralba. Light brown hair with gray, blue eyes. Lives in a croft and has lots of cats.

Callum McAllister – 10 years old, brown eyes, dark brown hair, cousin to Fiona and Elspet

Elspet McAllister – 10 years old, reddish hair and blue eyes, cousin to Fiona and Callum, artistic, draws

Fiona Isabella McAllister – 11 years old, blonde hair, green eyes, lives in Inveralba and is a descendant of King Kegan and King Dugan.

Mairi Anna Ferguson McAllister – Fiona’s mum, makes honey from heather and bluebell and thistle.  Sells it in the shops to tourists and also sends it off to Edinburgh and Glasgow. She also is a good cook and works part time at McKenzie’s bakery in town.  Age 35, brown hair and fern green eyes

Drayton Steele – Descendant of King Dugan and Princess Isabella and owner of the necklace stolen from King Kegan – Age 19. Son of Shardow Steele and Penelope McAllister.

Jack Thomson/ Artur - Pearl – Pretending to be a brother of Johnny. He is actually Artur, one of King Kegan’s 12 men and hid the 3rd jewel, the pearl, in Seychelles. He is from Arabia with dark hair and eyes, about 32 years old.

Jacob Thomson/Gamlas – Opal – One of the 12 men who hid the 8th stone, opal, in Nepal. From Burill in Arabia, with Arab features – olive skin, dark eyes and hair. He is 26 years old.

Jared Thomson/Chessa – Amber – One of the 12 men, who hid the 7th stone, amber, in Mexico. From Burill in Arabia, with long dark brown hair that he wears in a pony tail, brown eyes. He is 28 years old.

Jason Thomson/Buntabi – Ruby – One of the 12 men, who hid the 6th stone, the ruby, in Jordan. From Burill in Arabia, with African heritage, so he has short, curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark brown skin. He is 31 years old.

Jasper Thomson/Collos – Sapphire- One of the 12 men, who hid the 9th stone, the sapphire, in La Mancha, Spain. Blue eyes, Germanic and Frank heritage. 30 years old.

Jeffrey Thomson/ Kitar -  Emerald – One of the 12 men, who hid the 4th stone, the emerald, in Yukon. From Burill in Arabia, but with Germanic descent, so has blond hair and blue eyes. His mother was Arabic, but his father was of Germanic blood  and he came to Burill to live. He is 39, the oldest of the 12 men.

Jeremy Thomson/ Serbel – Tanzanite - One of the 12 men, who hid the 10th stone, the tanzanite, in Argentina.  He is 31 years old, has Arab features, dark hair and eyes. Well built, strong, muscular. Tallest of 12 men with a Schwarzenneger-type build.

Jesse Thomson/ Pond - Spinel -  One of the 12 men, who hid the 2nd jewel, spinel in Iceland. From Burill in Arabia so he has dark hair and brown eyes. His is 27 years old

Jimmy Thomson/Cowan – Black Obsidian -Pretending to be the brother of Johnny. Is actually Cowan, one of King Kegan’s 12 most trusted me and he hid the 1st jewel in Hydra, Greece. He is from Arabia – so he has dark hair and eyes.

Joacquin Thomson/Limhi – Diamond – It is actually Limhi, one of King Kegan’s 12 most trusted men. He hid the 11th jewel in Livingstonia, Malawi, Africa. He is from Arabia, has long wirey black hair and deep brown eyes

Johnny Thomson/ Alroy Cathmore - Posing as a tourist from London, come to Inveralba to fish and hunt – Age 37 – He has light brown hair and brown eyes – his ancestry is Persian. King Kegan’s scribe and author of the book the children found.

Julian Thomson/ Edwi – Topaz – Hid the jewel in Tasmania, one of the 12 men who hid the 5th stone, Topaz– has black hair and dark brown eyes and is 28 years old

Minor Characters

Sean Aiken – The deputy of Inveralba, who takes care of the jail.

Banshees, or bean sidhe – Wail or cry at funerals or before death, warning of impending death,  dress in white and have long, fair hair which they brush with a silver comb.

Baobhan Sith, or baobin sith – A type of vampire, also known as the “White Women of the Scottish Highlands”. Live in forest and take the form of a beautiful woman in a green dress. Deer hooves for feet. Seduce young men with their beauty, get them to dance with them and suck their blood.

Bean-nighe- The name 'Bean-Nighe' means washer woman. She was called this as she was usually seen washing bloody garments at the water's edge. Her feet were webbed like those of a duck or goose. If a traveler saw her before she spied him, he would survive, however, if she spied him first, he would die. In the Scottish Highlands, it was thought that only those about to die could see her.

Bodachs – These malicious house spirits of the Scottish Highlands have the form of a shriveled old man who lives up the chimney in the daytime and comes out at night to punish naughty children, tweaking their toes, ears and noses, pulling their eyelids open and staring into their eyes, and inflicting horrid nightmares. If the child's behavior improves the bodach will leave him alone, but it is wise to put a pinch of salt in the fire as well, to keep the bodach in his lair. Bodach - also Bugbear or Bug-A-Boo.  They slide down chimneys to kidnap naughty children.

Bogarts- When a Brownie goes bad it becomes a BOGART. Like a poltergist, Bogarts do mischievous deeds and accompany the family should they move to try to get rid of him. The victim of Bogart retribution often feels as if he is being tormented by the Borgart's evil tricks. Sometimes Bogarts do merely annoying things, such as turning the butter sour and sometimes they do very wicked things, such as nearly killing livestock or people with their magic.

Bogies - Most of us were told as children to "beware the Bogie-Man," and there is a good reason for this. Bogies are a class of fairy that are said to take great delight in tormenting and frightening humans. They are sometimes thought to be Evil Brownies who shape-shift and can be very dangerous. Sometimes Bogies are thought to be minor-devils who are simple and gullible and this is usually how most are able to rid themselves of Bogies. Bogies are often found on the losing side of a bet.

Bogles- Nasty hobgoblins

William Bradbury – A guest who stays at McDougals’ B&B. From Canterbury, England.

Chimwala – Masibuwa’s little sister, age three

Cloudwaltzer - Dragon that belonged to Lehimna, Zerahemna and Lephimah, black.

Duergar – Miserable and miserly dwarfs, cruel and evil

Dulani – A Friend of Masibuwa

Each-uisge - The Each Uisge, is a name for the Highland supernatural water horse, supposedly the most dangerous of the Scottish water dwelling creatures. The monster inhabited the sea, sea lochs and fresh water lochs and is sometimes mistaken in writing as the Kelpie, which is supposed to inhabit rivers and streams. The Each Uisge had the ability to shape shift, and could disguise itself as a fine horse or pony. To lure people into the water it would stand by the waters edge in one of these forms, and wait for somebody to approach. If a man was to mount the horse, it would immediately set off into the deepest part of the loch, the rider being unable to free himself because of the adhesive qualities of the creature's skin. Once in its element, the unfortunate victim would drown, and be devoured completely apart from the liver, which would float ashore, a sure sign that the water horse had claimed another victim. Another disguise the Each Uisge could take was that of a handsome man, and because of the danger of these creatures, people were wary of lone animals and strangers standing by the waters edge, in places reputed to be haunted by the Each Uisge. As well as human victims the Each Uisge also ate cattle and sheep, and could be lured from the water and killed with the smell of roasted meat. One such tale is recorded in 'More West Highland Tales' by McKay: A blacksmith from Raasay lost his daughter to the Each Uisge. In revenge the blacksmith and his son made a set of large hooks, in a forge they set up by the loch side. They then roasted a sheep and heated the hooks until they were red hot. At last a great mist appeared from the water and the Each Uisge rose from the depths and seized the sheep. The blacksmith and his son rammed the red-hot hooks into its flesh and after a short struggle dispatched it. In the morning there was nothing left of the creature apart from a jelly like substance.  It has been theorised that the folklore of the water horse stems in part from real encounters with water dwelling creatures in the deep lochs. These are paralleled today with sightings in places such as Loch Ness and Loch Morar. Of course it could be the other way round and what people are seeing is archetypal images somehow portrayed onto the water. In truth nobody knows and the similarity with folklore and modern sightings may be pure coincidence.

Fachan - A Scottish monster said to have one arm and one leg. He originated in Scotland. All of his features are singular. One eye, one head, one arm, one leg, one finger, one toe. His body is covered with hair and feathers. Its coloring is pitch black, aside from a dark blue mane of feathers. The mere sight of the Fachan gave some people heart attachs. He is very spiteful. He can be found in the highest Scottish mountains. Queen Finna - Mother of Queen Sarmantha and wife of King Aluric

Growler – Leader of the Scottish werewolves

Hagos – A priest at Livingstonia Mission who was a boy when Andy Hall came there with tetanus

Hags - A hag (or crone) is a kind of malevolent, wizened old woman

Andy Hall –Moses’ younger brother who died of tetanus in Malawi and is buried near Livingstonia Mission

Moses Hall – Gives them a ride from Nkhata Bay to Livingstonia.

Robert Hall – Father of Moses and Andy Hall

Hobgoblins – One to two feet tall, hairy and either naked or wearing brown clothes. They lived by the fire and rarely went outside. They were described as friendly, impish, ugly, mischievous, good-humored, helpful, mean, grotesque, and fond of practical jokes. If annoyed, they would turn nasty.

Kelpie - The kelpie is a supernatural shape-shifting water horse from Gaelic folklore that is believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland. In Orkney a similar creature was called the Nuggle, and in Shetland a similar creature was called the Shoopiltee. It also appears in Scandinavian folklore where it is known by the name Bäckahästen, the brook horse. In Scandinavia, the brook horse was a transformation of the Nix, a water spirit in the shape of a man. It was often described as a majestic white horse that would appear near rivers, particularly during foggy weather. Anyone who climbed onto its back would not be able to get off again. The horse would then jump into the river, drowning the rider. The brook horse could also be harnessed and made to plough, either because it was trying to trick a person or because the person had tricked the horse into it. Kelpies sometimes appear as a rough hairy man who would grip and crush travellers, but it most commonly took the form of a beautiful tame horse standing by a stream or river. If anyone mounted it, it would charge into the deepest part of the water, submerging and taking the rider with it. They would sometimes interbreed with humans' horses, and the foals were said to be fine fleetfooted horses. The kelpie was also said to warn of forthcoming storms by wailing and howling. Rarely, kelpies could be benign. 1] A similar creature from Gaelic folklore, the each uisge ("water horse" in Gaelic) haunts bodies of salt water, rather than the fresh water rivers and lochs with which the Kelpie is associated.

Killmoulis - The Killmoulis is a very ugly creature who dwells in mills. He has an enormous nose but no mouth. He probably eats by stuffing food through his nostrils. A Killmoulis is a hard worker and a great help to a miller, but with his tricks he is sometimes more a nuisance than a help.

Kimoni – Masibuwa’s father

Mustafa Kandulu – Comes from Lilongwe, Malawi once a month to buy fulgurites from the locals at Nkhata Bay

Lily – One of the Livingstonia girls who takes a liking to Fiona

Limikin – A werewolf in Growler’s pack

Lipsipsip- Dwarfs, or dwarf-like spirits, from the New Hebrides who live in trees or stones. If a man offends them they will devour him.

Dr. David Livingstone - David Livingstone (19 March 1813 – 1 May 1873) was a Scottish medical missionary and explorer of the Victorian era, now best remembered because of his meeting with Henry Morton Stanley which gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

David Livingstone was born in the village of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland and first studied Greek, medicine and theology at the University of Glasgow. While working in London, he emulated the example of another Scot, Robert Moffat, and joined the London Missionary Society, becoming a minister.

From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (now Botswana), but was unable to make inroads into South Africa because of Boer opposition.

He married Robert Moffat's daughter, Mary in 1844, and she travelled with him for a brief time at his insistence, despite her pregnancy and the protests of the Moffats. She later returned to England with their children. In the period 1852–56, he explored the African interior, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall (which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria). Livingstone was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa. The purpose of his journey was to open trade routes, while accumulating useful information about the African continent. In particular, Livingstone was a proponent of trade and missions to be established in central Africa. His motto, inscribed in the base of the statue to him at Victoria Falls, was "Christianity, Commerce and Civilization." At this time he believed the key to achieving these goals was the navigation of the Zambezi River. He returned to Britain to try to garner support for his ideas, and to publish a book on his travels. At this time he resigned from the missionary society to which he had belonged. Livingstone returned to Africa as head of the "Zambezi Expedition", which was a government-funded project to examine the natural resources of southeastern Africa. The Zambezi river turned out to be completely unnavigable past the Cabora basa rapids, a series of cataracts and rapids that Livingstone had failed to explore on his earlier travels.

The expedition lasted from March 1858 until the middle of 1864. Livingstone was an inexperienced leader and had trouble managing a large-scale project. The artist Thomas Baines was dismissed from the expedition on charges (which he vigorously denied) of theft. Livingstone's wife Mary died on 29 April 1863 of dysentery, but Livingstone continued to explore, eventually returning home in 1864 after the government ordered the recall of the Expedition. The Zambezi Expedition was castigated as a failure in many newspapers of the time, and Livingstone experienced great difficulty in raising funds to further explore Africa. Nevertheless, the scientists appointed to work under Livingstone, John Kirk, Charles Meller, and Richard Thornton did contribute large collections of botanicological, geological and ethnographic material to scientific institutions in the UK.

In March 1866, Livingstone returned to Africa, this time to Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania), where he set out to seek the source of the Nile. Richard Francis Burton, John Hanning Speke, and Samuel Baker had (although there was still serious debate on the matter) identified either Lake Albert or Lake Victoria as the source (which was partially correct, as the Nile "bubbles from the ground high in the mountains of Burundi halfway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria" [1]). Finding the Lualaba River, which feeds the Congo River, Livingstone decided that this river was in fact the "real" Nile.

Livingstone was taken ill and completely lost contact with the outside world for six years. Only one of his 44 later dispatches made it to Zanzibar. Henry Morton Stanley, who had been sent in a publicity stunt to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869, found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in October 1871. Stanley joined Livingstone, and together they continued exploring the north end of the Tanganyika (the other constituent of the present Tanzania), until Stanley left in March the next year. Despite Stanley's urgings, Livingstone was determined not to leave Africa until his mission was complete. His illness made him confused and he had judgement difficulties at the end of his life. He accepted help from Arab slave merchants, looking to capture slaves. They used him to facilitate contact with local people. He died there, in chief Chitambo's village, near lake Bangweula, Barotseland (now Zambia), on 1 May 1873 from malaria and internal bleeding caused by dysentery. His body, carried over a thousand miles by his loyal attendants Chuma and Susi, was returned to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey.

Robert McAllister – Fiona’s great great uncle, a missionary in Livingstonia and friend of Dr. David Livingstone

Mac McKenzie – Owns McKenzie’s Bakery

Manero – A werewolf in Growler’s pack.

Masibuwa – A six year old boy who lives in Nkhata Bay, a village, and befriends Callum, Elspet and Fiona

Mermen - Mermen are mythical male legendary creatures who are human from the waist up and fish-like from the waist down, whose consorts were their female counterparts, the more commonly known mermaids. In Greek mythology, mermen were often illustrated to have green seaweed-like hair, a beard, and a trident. The actions and behavior of mermen can vary wildly depending on the source and time period of the stories. They have been said to sink ships by summoning great storms, but also said to be wise teachers, according to earlier mythology. A merman, like a mermaid, attracts humans with singing and tones. The most well-known merman was probably Triton, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. Although Amphitrite gave birth to a merman, neither Poseidon nor Amphitrite were merfolk, although both were able to live under water as easily as on land. Triton was also known as the Trumpeter of the Sea for his usage of a conch shell.

Mesi – Masibuwa’s baby sister, a twin to Mphatso

Mphatso – Masibuwa’s baby sister, a twin to Mesi

Nahual – A werewolf in Growler’s pack

Nuckalavee- The Nuckelavee (or Nuckalavee) is a creature from Scottish folklore from the Fuath family.A creature from Celtic mythology, the Nuckelavee is the most horrible of all the Scottish elves. He lives mainly in the sea, but was also held responsible for ruined crops, epidemics, and drought. His breath could wilt the crops and sicken the livestock. He resembles a centaur whose legs are part fin; he has an enormous gaping mouth, and a single, fiery eye. The most gruesome detail of his appearance is the fact that he has no skin. Black blood courses through yellow veins and the pale sinews and powerful muscles are visible as a pulsating mass. He has an aversion of running water and those who are chased by him have only to cross a stream to get rid of him. He has only one giant eye, which burns with a red flame. Some reports claim that he is simply a very large head on two small arms, with all of the other characteristics mentioned above.

Another phobia that the Nuckleavee suffers from is the burning of seaweed to create kelp. This enrages him and causes him to start on a wild rampage of plague, killing cattle and many other creatures and bringing bad crops. At this time, the only person to stop him is The Mither O' The Sea, another ancient God-like being of Celtic and Orkney Mythology.

Pechs- Gnome-like creature, can’t stand the light of day, short in stature, but strong, red hair, long arms, broad feet, great builders of  castles, made ale from heather and loved to drink it.

Redcap - Redcap is one of the meaner Border Goblins. He lives in the old ruined towers and castles where terrible deeds have been done and takes pleasure in dyeing his cap red in human blood. Human strength means nothing to him, only a cross held high or the reading of scripture will abate him. There have been others known as Redcap, one whom it is told brings good fortune to see and another that is really a Brownie.

Sabola – A friend of Masibuwa

Selkie - Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures in Irish and Scottish mythology that can transform themselves from seals to humans, where "selkie" is simply the Orcadian word for "seal". The legend apparently originated on the Orkney Islands. Selkies are able to transform to human form by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their selkie skin back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one particular human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea. They are not able to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human is to steal their selkie's skin and hide it or burn it.[citation needed] The Grey Selkie of Suleskerry is a ballad typical of the former, while The Secret of Roan Inish is a movie telling the latter tale. "Seal Child" is a children's novel by Sylvia Peck which details a modern telling of this myth. Male selkies are very handsome in their human form, and have great seduction powers over human women. They typically seek those who are dissatisfied with their romantic life. This includes married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. If a woman wishes to make contact with a selkie male, she has to go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.

If a man steals a female selkie's skin, she is in his power, to an extent, and she is forced to become his wife. Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly to the ocean. If her skin is found she will immediately return to her home - sometimes, her selkie husband - in the sea.

Shape-shifting Witches - The Witch experiences have always included shapeshifting. Witchs are potential polymorphs, able to assume the shape, in either the middle realms or in the otherworld, and sometimes both. This ability to be simultaneously part of all existences is integral to the unitive revelation of the witch. The witch may actively seek to appear as, or to journey to the otherworld in, another guise for various purposes, usually because the human shape is a disadvantage or because stale energy requires a substantial change. Finding the right power which will help the witch underlies much of shapeshifting. The shapeshifter calls upon the power of one of his or her animal or other helpers in order to go forth, in spirit, to transact whatever business he or she purposes. The projected spirit is usually invisible to others, but may be observed by people who have the Gaelic da shealladh, (the two sights).

Sluaghs- Were the spirits of dead sinners; sometimes the spirits of pagan ancestors; usually troublesome and destructive. They flew in groups like flocks of birds, coming from the west, and tried to enter a house where someone is dying to take the soul away with them. West-facing windows were sometimes kept closed to keep them out.

Spunkie – The will o' the wisp or ignis fatuus ("fool's fire") is the phenomenon of ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or in twilight hovering over damp ground in still air, often over bogs. The will o' the wisp is said to recede if approached. Much folklore has attached to the legend, despite possible scientific explanations. The lights themselves (as opposed to the phenomenon) are more often referred to as something like corpse candles. Also known as Friar’s Candles

Tarans – Pathetic spirits of babies who died before baptism. They wail.

Trows - In some early folkore accounts, the word “trow” was a generic term used to refer to a number of different supernatural creatures. Although there are clear elements of fairy folklore mixed in among the mythology of the trow, there are a few distinct differences. These variations hint at the fact that the trow, as it comes to us today, has developed from a number of distinct sources. It would seem that a number of separate strands of lore, from various sources, have merged over the years, leaving us with the creature known as the trow. he trows were generally smaller than the average man and, although descriptions vary, they usually wore rags or grey clothing. Although there are some instances in which a single trow was encountered alone, most tales have the creatures travelling in groups and living in small raucous communities, mostly in knolls, mounds or caverns found within the depths of hills. So given the similarity between the tales of fairy folk in other parts of Britain, it seems more likely that the origin of Orkney's trow lies in a pre-Norse tradition. When the settlers began arriving in the eighth century they were probably exposed to a multitude of tales dealing with the mischievous, sometimes malicious, child-stealing "spirits" living within the hills and mounds and as such used the Norse word "troll" - in the sense that it can mean "spirit" - to describe them.

Unseelie Court - In Scotland faeries were divided into the Seelie Court and Unseelie Court depending on whether or no they were kind. The Seelie Court is where all good faeries such as brownies are while redcaps belong to the Unseelie Court. Seelie is an old Saxon for "blessed" which is what they tend to do. Kind faeries travel, spreading good and help where ever they go while the Unseelie hurt, frighten and sometimes even destroy mortals. Though it is not safe to offend those of the Seelie Court, the punishment from members of the Unseelie is much, much worse, and you dont even have to try to offend the Unseelie.

Varulf – A werewolf in Growler’s pack

Vikolak – A werewolf in Growler’s pack

Wanda – Masibuwa’s mother

Yao Tribe - The Yao people trace their origins to East of Lake Malawi to a mountain called Yao, near the grass covered hills between Mwembe and Luchilingo Range. During the ninth century, there was a famine in the land. This and other internal problems resulted in the breaking away of part of the people. Moving westward, they settled on the shores of Lake Malawi. It is estimated that 2 million Yao live in southern Africa; 1.5 million of these are in Malawi; another half million in Mozambique. The majority of the Yao live in southeastern Malawi near Lake Malawi. Others live in the northern province of Niassa in Mozambique and southern Tanzania. Livelihood: The Yao are primarily subsistence farmers, growing crops in the savannahs surrounding the lake. Many are also fishermen. Others have migrated to the cities where they find temporary work. A few are craftsmen employed in local projects such as building houses. In Mozambique, the Yao are known as negociantes, or traveling salesmen, because for over a hundred years they have traveled to and from the coast trading with Arab merchants.

Language: The primary language of the Yao is called Chiyao. In Malawi, while most of the Yao are fluent in Chiyao, only 30% are literate. Eighty-five percent of the Yao also speak Chichewa, Malawi's national language, and 10-20% speak limited English.

For the Yao living in the towns of Mozambique, Portuguese may be a second language. However, in rural areas, most of the women only speak Chiyao. Local schools teach children in Portuguese. However, education has been a low priority for Mozambican Yao until recently. For decades in Niassa province, education was connected to the Catholocism brought by Portuguese colonialists. Being primarily Muslim, the Yao did not look favorably on going to school and being baptised as Catholic.

Matrilineal Society: The Yao tend to be more loyal to their mother’s family than to their nuclear family. A group of sisters and their families live with an elder brother or uncle and consider him their leader. Marriage also is matrilocal – husbands live in their wife’s village, and husbands are often considered strangers in their wife’s village for many years. Divorce is common among the Yao. Being Muslim, the Yao often have more than one wife.

Political System: Although political authority is officially in the hands of the government, the sociopolitical unit among the Yao is the matrilinear group headman. He is often over a number of matrilineages, and a chief is over a number of headmen. In Malawi, the government recognizes 149 chiefs, some of whom are Yao. A chief presides over an area called a "traditional authority," and his power is limited by the government.

Celebrations: Two Yao holidays are especially important in Mozambique. The first, called Unyago, is the biggest celebration involving children, and follows several weeks of initiation ceremonies for kids ages 7-12 years. The boys are circumcised and both boys and girls are taught separately what it means to be members of the Yao community. The children are dressed in new clothes, sunglasses, shoes, and jewelry for the girls. Then they parade under umbrellas. Initiated children are not permitted to smile during the celebration. Relatives and friends dance, sing, shake shakers, and bring money to give to the children.

A second important celebration is called Siala and commemorates the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. It involves all night chanting of Yao traditional and Islamic stories and teachings. Dance troops of men compete with each other in stamping out a warlike dance. Lots of food must be eaten, of course! This means corn mush cakes eaten with various vegetables, goat and chicken.

Religion - The Yao are Sunni Muslims, mainly of the Shafi school. The Islam of the Yao is mixed with their pre-Islamic animist beliefs, witchcraft and ancestral cults. In recent years there has been a move toward Islamic orthodoxy. At the same time, there is increased receptivity toward the message of Jesus’ life and love.

History -The Yao are a Bantu people. They converted to Islam only about 150 years ago, towards the end of the mid-1800’s. As traders with the Arabs from the coast, they exchanged slaves, ivory, tobacco, gunpowder and cloth. Supplied with firearms by the Arabs, they raided neighboring tribes and took captives for sale into slavery. When the British, at the request of Christian missionaries, stopped the slave trading of the Yao merchants, the Yao turned to the religion of their slave-trading partners, and grew highly resistant to Christianity.

Zikomo – A friend of Masibuwa


Castle Athdara - Built by King Kegan on the shores of Loch Doon near today’s Inveralba approximately 1070 AD

Loch Doon - A loch (lake) near Inveralba, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh is the second-largest city in Scotland and its capital city. It is situated on the east coast of Scotland's central lowlands on the south shore of the Firth of Forth and in the unitary local authority of City of Edinburgh. It has been the capital of Scotland since 1437 and is the seat of the country's devolved government. Edinburgh is well known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world, and for the Hogmanay street party. At the time of the art festivals the population of the city doubles. The city is one of the world's major tourist destinations, attracting roughly 13 million visitors a year. The origin of the city's name is understood to come from the Brythonic Din Eidyn (Fort of Eidyn) from the time when it was a Gododdin hillfort. In the 1st century the Romans recorded the Votadini as a British tribe in the area, and about 600 the poem Y Gododdin using the Brythonic form of that name describes warriors feasting "in Eidin's great hall".

After it was besieged by the Bernician Angles the name changed to Edin-burh, which some have argued derives from the Anglo-Saxon for "Edwin's fort", possibly derived from the 7th century king Edwin of Northumbria. However, since the name apparently predates King Edwin, this is highly unlikely. The burgh element means "fortress" or "group of buildings", i.e. a town or city and is akin to the German burg, Latin parcus, Greek pyrgos etc. This word can be traced back to the Chaldean perach meaning "growth", in the sense that a group of buildings is a growth from the earth, and may be a borrowing.

A Celtic "Dun" was a hilltop fortress town, and the suffix appears throughout Caesar's "Gallic Wars". The Germanic equivalent is "Burgh"; for example, an "ice-berg" is literally an "ice-mountain". The sense is identical: a hilltop fortified town. Thus, the exact translation of "Din Eidyn" into the Germanic tongue of the Angles is "Eidyn Burgh", or more simply, "Edinburgh". As with the borrowing of "Brynaich" as "Bernicia", we see that the Angles adopted the honorific pronoun "Eidyn", translating only the modifier "Din" into their own tongue as "Bergh".

The first evidence of the existence of the town as a separate entity from the fort lies in an early 12th century charter, generally thought to date from 1124, by King David I granting land to the Church of the Holy Rood of Edinburgh. This suggests that the town came into official existence between 1018 (when King Malcolm II secured the Lothians from the Northumbrians) and 1124. The charter refers to the recipients (in Latin) as "Ecclisie Sancte Crucis Edwinesburgensi". This could mean that those who drafted the charter believed Edwin to be the original source of the name and decided to derive the Latinisation from what they believed to be the ancient name. It could also mean that at some point in the preceding 600 years the name had altered to include a w. If the latter scenario was the case then it was soon to change; by the 1170s King William the Lion was using the name "Edenesburch" in a charter (again in Latin) confirming the 1124 grant of David I. Documents from the 14th century show the name to have settled into its current form; although other spellings ("Edynburgh" and "Edynburghe") appear, these are simply spelling variants of the current name. The city is affectionately nicknamed "Auld Reekie", Lowland Scots for "Old Smoky".

Some have called Edinburgh the "Athens of the North" for a variety of reasons. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Old Town of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Acropolis. Both of them had flatter, fertile agricultural land sloping down to a port several miles away. Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe, it is rare in Northern Europe. The 18th century intellectual life, sometimes referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment, was a key influence in gaining the name. Such beacons as David Hume and Adam Smith shone during this period. Having lost its political importance, some hoped that Edinburgh could gain a similar civilising influence on London as Athens had on Rome. Also a contributing factor was the later neoclassical architecture, particularly that of William Henry Playfair, and the National Monument (see below). One writer has said, facetiously, that the "Reykjavík of the South" would be more appropriate!

Edinburgh has also been known as "Dunedin", deriving from the Scottish Gaelic, Dùn Èideann. Dunedin, New Zealand, was originally called "New Edinburgh" and is still nicknamed the "Edinburgh of the South".

The Scots poets Robert Burns and Robert Fergusson sometimes referred to the city as "Edina" in their work. Ben Johnson described it as "Britaine's other eye", and Sir Walter Scott referred to the City as "yon Empress of the North". Some Scots refer to the city affectionately and informally as "Embra". The Latin name for Edinburgh is "Edinensis". This name can be found inscribed in the city's many classical buildings. Some 70 million years ago several volcanic vents in the area cooled and solidified to form tough basalt volcanic plugs, then, during the last ice age, glaciers eroded the area, exposing the plug as a rocky crag to the west, and leaving a tail of material swept to the east. At the same time, the glacier gouged out ground to each side, leaving the ravine of the Grassmarket and Cowgate to the south, and the swampy valley of the Nor' Loch to the north. The resulting crag and tail landform now forms the Castle Rock, and the narrow steep sided ridge which the Royal Mile follows. The ridge declines in height over a mile, meeting general ground level at Holyrood. This formed a natural fortress, and recent excavations at the castle (described in Excavations within Edinburgh Castle by Stephen T. Driscoll & Peter Yeoman, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series no.12 1997) found material dating back to the Late Bronze Age, as long ago as 850 BCE.

Ekwendeni Mission – Ekwendeni is a town about 20km from Mzuzu, in the Mzimba district of Malawi. It is one of the busiest (and largest) towns in the Northern Region of Malawi. Ekwendeni was started by Scottish missionaries. It has one of the oldest churches in Malawi belonging to the Malawi equivalent of the Church of Scotland.

Ekwendeni is largely surrounded by tobacco growing farms. It has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Malawi mainly due to the fact that it is a favourite resting place for truck drivers travelling between Malawi and its northern neighbour, Tanzania, Kenya and beyond. Ekwendeni has a hospital run by the presbyterian church with the bulk of the funding coming from the United States and Scotland. The people of Ekwendeni have Tumbuka as the dominant language but other languages are spoken due to the high numbers of people from other parts of Malawi settling there.Near Livingstonia, Malawi

Inveralba- Village where Fiona and her family and friends live in the highlands of Scotland

Inverdrochit - Mairi was born here, a village on the opposite side of Loch Doon

Khondowe Plateau – Livingstonia sits atop it

Lake Nyasa/Malawi -Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Nyassa, or Lake Niassa after the Yao word for "lake" (officially called Niassa in Mozambique), is the most southerly lake in the Great African Rift Valley system. Famously visited by the Scottish explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingstone, Lake Malawi has sometimes been referred by english-speaking people as "Livingstone's Lake." he lake is about 560 km long and 75 km wide at its widest point, with a total area of approximately 29,600 sq km, and is bordered by Monambique, Malawi, and Tanzania. Its outlet is the Shire River; its largest tributary is the Ruhuhu. About three quarters of the lake is in Malawi, including the waters next to the Tanzanian shore; the rest is in Mozambique. The lake lies in the Great African Rift Valley, a large graben caused by crustal extension. It probably formed about 40,000 years ago. Dr. David Livingstone was the first European to discover the lake, in 1859. Much of the area surrounding the lake was subsequently claimed by the British Empire to form the colony of Nyasaland, colonized by Scottish missionaries from Nyasaland, and as a result were incorporated as part of Nyasaland rather than Mozambique. Today they form lacustrine enclaves: Malawi territory surrounded by Mozambique waters. In 1914, the lake saw a brief naval engagement when a British ship, on hearing that WWI had begun, sank a German ship in Deutsch Ost-Afrika territorial waters. Lake Malawi has traditionally provided a major food source to the residents of Malawi as it is rich in fish, the most famous of which is the Chambo, a fresh-water perch. Lake Malawi is famous for its cichlids, a group of neotropical perch-like fishes, popular in the aquarium trade. Malawi cichlids are divided into two basic groups. The first is the open-swimming, usually carnivorous species, often with colorful males and drab females, are Peacocks or Haps; the latter is short for Haplochromine, though the genus Haplochromis is now only used for a few species. The second is a group known locally and popularly known as mbuna, which means rockdweller. Mbuna are smaller, generally vegetarian, and both sexes are often quite colorful, though many species are dimorphic. The genera Maylandia and Pseudotropheus are popular cichlids for the aquarium. Cichlids are an important export for Malawi, but wild populations are increasingly threatened by commercial collecting, localized pollution and the introduction of exotic predatory species such as Nile Perch. Other wildlife resident in the lake includes abundant crocodiles, and a large population of fish eagles which feed off the fish population.The lake also supports populations of snails some of which carry bilharzia. For many years this was strenuously denied by the government, which feared it would deter tourism in the area, but since the fall of Hastings Banda, the presence of bilharzia in the lake has been more widely acknowledged.

Lilongwe – The capital of Malawi. Lilongwe, estimated population 597,619 (2003 census), is the capital of Malawi. It lies in the south west of the country, west of the Malawi River near the border of Malawi and Mozambique and Zambia. The city started life as a small village on the banks of the Lilongwe river, and became a British colonial administrative centre at the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to its convenient location on the main north-south route through the country and the road to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Lilongwe became the 2nd largest city in Malawi. In 1975, the capital of the country was formally moved from Zomba (the third largest city today in Malawi) to second largest, Lilongwe. Industry tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods Agriculture tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; cattle, goats Arable Land 34% Exports tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products Imports food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment Natural Resources limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite Current Environmental Issues deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations.

Livingstonia – Village located in the northern region of Karonga in Malawi. Named after Dr. David Livingstone. A Mission was set up there by Scottish missionaries.

Malawi – The Republic of Malawi (Pronunciation: /məlɑwi/) is a landlocked nation in southeastern Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Zambia on the north-west, and Mozambique on the east, south, and west. Lake Malawi comprises about a fifth of the country's territory and it is stretched through most of its eastern border. The origin of the name Malawi remains unclear; it is held to be either derived from that of southern tribes, or noting the "glitter of the sun rising across the lake" . Hominid remains and stone implements have been identified in Malawi dating back more than 1 million years, and early humans inhabited the vicinity of Lake Malawi 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. Human remains at a site dated about 8000 BC show physical characteristics similar to peoples living today in the Horn of Africa. At another site, dated 1500 BC, the remains possess features resembling Bushman people.

The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations. Although the Portuguese reached the area in the 16th century, the first significant Western contact was the arrival of David Livingstone along the shore of Lake Malawi in 1859. Subsequently, Scottish Presbyterian churches established missions in Malawi. One of their objectives was to end the slave trade to the Persian Gulf that continued to the end of the 19th century. In 1878, a number of traders, mostly from Glasgow, formed the African Lakes Company to supply goods and services to the missionaries. Other missionaries, traders, hunters, and planters soon followed. In 1883, a consul of the British Government was accredited to the "Kings and Chiefs of Central Africa," and in 1891, the British established the British Central Africa Protectorate, by 1907, the Nyasaland Protectorate (Nyasa is the Yao word for "lake"). Although the British remained in control during the first half of the 1900s, this period was marked by a number of unsuccessful Malawian attempts to obtain independence. In May 1963, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved on December 31, 1963, and Malawi became a fully independent member of the (formerly British) Commonwealth on July 6, 1964. Two years later, Malawi became a republic with Dr. Banda as its first President, and was also declared a one-party state. In 1970 Dr. Banda was declared President for life.

Malawi -is situated in southeastern Africa. The Great Rift Valley traverses the country from north to south. In this deep trough lies Lake Malawi (also called Lake Nyasa), the third-largest lake in Africa, comprising about 20% of Malawi's area. The Shire River flows from the south end of the lake and joins the Zambezi River 400 kilometres (250 mi) farther south in Mozambique. East and west of the Rift Valley, the land forms high plateaus, generally between 900 and 1,200 metres (3,000-4,000 ft) above sea level. In the north, the Nyika Uplands rise as high as 2,600 metres (8,500 ft); south of the lake lie the Shire Highlands, with an elevation of 600-1,600 m (2,000-5,000 ft), rising to Mts. Zomba and Mulanje, 2,130 and 3,048 metres (7,000 and 10,000 ft). In the extreme south, the elevation is only 60-90 metres (200-300 ft) above sea level. Malawi is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most densely populated countries. The population of Lilongwe —Malawi's capital since 1971— exceeds 400,000. All government ministries and the Parliament are located in Lilongwe. Blantyre remains Malawi's major commercial center and largest city, having grown from an estimated 109,000 inhabitants in 1966 to nearly 500,000 in 1998. Malawi's President resides in Lilongwe. The Supreme Court is seated in Blantyre. Malawi's climate is generally subtropical. A rainy season runs from November through April. There is little to no rainfall throughout most of the country from May to October. It is hot and humid from October to April along the lake and in the Lower Shire Valley. Lilongwe is also hot and humid during these months, albeit far less than in the south. The rest of the country is warm during those months. From June through August, the lake areas and far south are comfortably warm, but the rest of Malawi can be chilly at night, with temperatures ranging from 5 °-14 °C (41°-57°F). Malawi is a landlocked, densely populated country. Its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Malawi has few exploitable mineral resources. Its three most important export crops are (in order) tobacco, tea and sugar. Malawi's president recently urged farmers to consider growing other crops, such as cotton tobacco, maize, beans, rice, cassava,  and groundnuts (peanuts).

Manchewe Falls – Located just outside of Livingstonia

Mozambique – The Republic of Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa bordering on the Indian Ocean. It is a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the Commonwealth of Nations. Mozambique's first inhabitants were San hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. Between the first and fourth centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The Bantu were farmers and ironworkers. When Portuguese explorers reached Mozambique in 1498, Arab trading settlements had existed along the coast and outlying islands for several centuries. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. Later, traders and prospectors penetrated the interior regions seeking gold and slaves. Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers who were granted extensive autonomy. As a result, investment lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to the colonization of Brazil.

By mid-1995 the more than 1.7 million Mozambican refugees who had sought asylum in neighboring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, a further estimated 4 million internally displaced returned to their areas of origin. Mozambique is located in southeastern Africa, bordered on the east by the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean. The country shares land borders with South Africa and Swaziland in the south; Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in the west; and Tanzania in the north. The Comoros lie offshore to the northeast and Madagascar lies east across the channel.

The country is situated on Africa's largest coastal plain (half the territory is no more than 230 metres (755 ft) above sea level). The mountain range known as Inyanga is located to the west, where its peak reaches 2,436 metres (7,992 ft). The major elevations are near the borders with Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The coasts are very irregular, and covered by vast swamps in the middle section of the country around cities like Beira and Quelimane. Many beaches in Mozambique are excellent for tourism, with soft sand and clear blue water, and cheap, fresh seafood provided by the fishing industry. The country is divided by the Zambezi River. Mozambique has a hot, rainy season from November to March, and a cool, dry winter season from July to September.

Nkhata Bay – A village in central Malawi on the shores of Lake Malawi. A port town.

Nyasaland – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former British protectorates of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland. It was also known by the alternative title of the Central African Federation (CAF). It was a federal realm of the British Crown (not a colony, but not a dominion. Although the British Sovereign was represented by a Governor-General, which is usually for dominions). It was intended to eventually become a dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Federation was established on August 1, 1953. The goal was to create a middle way between the newly independent and socialist black independent states and the white-dominated governments of South Africa, Angola, and Mozambique. Originally, the Federation was intended to be a perpetual entity, but ultimately the Federation crumbled because the Black African nationalists wanted a greater share of power than the white-dominated settler population were willing to concede. Sir Godfrey Martin Huggins was prime minister from 1953 to 1956 followed by Sir Roy Welensky from 1956 to the Federation's dissolution. The newly independent black African states were united in wanting to end all forms of colonialism on the African continent. With most of the world moving away from colonialism during this time (late 1950's - early 1960's), the United Kingdom was subjected to a lot of pressure from the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity, which supported the aspirations of the black African nationalists. With the political pressure continuing to build, The United Kingdom realized that the Federation was untenable and was rapidly becoming a liability for them.

The Federation collapsed (officially on 31 December 1963), when Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the United Kingdom as the new nation of Zambia and Nyasaland gained independence as the new nation of Malawi. The remaining territory, Southern Rhodesia, became known simply as Rhodesia and is now Zimbabwe. Nearly two years after the Federation ceasesd to exist, it became infamous in the world following its unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain on November 11, 1965 while under the leadership of the Rhodesian Front Government (led by Prime Minister Ian Smith).

Rhodesia – Former name for Zimbabwe (see above and below)

Truro, Cornwall - Place in southern England where Drayton and his mother live

Zimbabwe – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the north, and Mozambique to the east. The name Zimbabwe is derived from "dzimba dzamabwe" meaning "stone buildings" in the Shona language.[1] Its use as the county's name is a tribute to Great Zimbabwe, site of the capital of the Munhumutapa Empire.

The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during a series of migrations. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country, surrounded by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east and northeast. The northwestern border is defined by the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls is a popular tourist destination on the Zambezi. To the south, Zimbabwe is separated from South Africa by the Limpopo River.


Mbatata – Malawian sweet potato biscuits or cookies

Mpasa – Lake salmon from Lake Malawi

Nsima – Malawian dish of white maize eaten with vegetables, fish and/or meat

Nthochi – Malawian banana bread

Vundu  - Catfish from Lake Malawi

Tilapia – Warm water fish found in Lake Malawi

Zitumbuwa – Malawian banana fritters

Odds and Ends

Fulgurites – When lightning hits sand, it causes this mineral, which hardens into a tube-like object

Gordon Highlanders – The Gordon Highlanders was a British Army infantry regiment from 1881 until 1994. The regiment recruited principally from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland.

It was formed on 1 July 1881 by the amalgamation of the 75th Stirlingshire Regiment - which became the 1st battalion of the new regiment - and the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, which became the 2nd. The 75th Highlanders were raised in 1787 by Coloner Robert Abercromby of Tullibody for service in India, where they saw a great deal of action. They went on to serve in South Africa, the Indian Mutiny, Egypt and on the North-West Frontier. In 1809 they lost their kilt and their Highland identity but the title Stirlingshire was introduced in 1862. The 92nd were raised as the 100th Highlanders by the Duke of Gordon in 1794 being renumbered 92nd in 1798. Their early service included the Low Countries and Egypt, followed by Corunna, the Peninsula, Waterloo, Afghanistan and South Africa.

The Gordons raised 21 battalions in the First World War, serving on the Western Front and in Italy and winning 65 battle honours. The regiment lost 1,000 officers and 28,000 men during the war. A further 27 honors were added in World War II when the battalion served in France in 1940, in Malaya, North Africa, Sicily, Italy and north-west Europe. After the war the Gordons saw active service in Malaya and Northern Ireland. The novelist George MacDonald Fraser was posted as a lieutenant to the 2nd Battalion in the immediate post-war period, and wrote three volumes of short stories (the "McAuslan" books), which were lightly fictionalized recollections of his time with the regiment.

The original tartan of the 75th is not certain but it may have been akin to what is now known as Campbell of Breadalbane. The 92nd has always worn the Government set with a yellow stripe, which is worn as a clan tartan by those of the name Gordon. The regimental marches were Cock o' the North, St Andrew's Cross and The Garb of Old Gaul. HRH The Prince of Wales was Colonel in Chief. The regiment was amalgamated with the Queens' Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) on September 17, 1994 to form The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).

Malawi Steamer – A boat that travels up and down Lake Malawi, transporting people

Mambilira – The Malawian word for xylophone

Maseche – Rattles that Malawian dancers tie to their legs

Norwegian Thulite - Thulite (sometimes called rosaline) is an opaque, massive pink variety of the mineral zoisite. Thulite is often mottled with white calcite and occurs as veins and fracture fillings transecting many types of rock. Its color is said to be attributed to manganese. In mineralogical literature, thulite may sometimes refer to any pink zoisite. Thulite was first discovered in Lom, Norway in 1820. It is named after the mythical island of Thule in the belief that the island is Norway. Thulite is used as a carving material in the manufacture of ornamental objects.

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