SOUTHERN RHODESIA: King Willie

The throb of skin drums mingled with" the high-pitched, cacophonous music of steel-stringed gourds. Fires flickered in every direction under great cauldrons simmering with a beef stew made from 14 cows and oxen. The village of Mahusekwa in Southern Rhodesia's Chiota reserve, only an hour's drive from bustling, modern Salisbury, made ready to crown a King.

Six miles away in a somber, echoing burial cave, the King-elect, naked and unarmed, stood trial by ordeal. Surrounded by the dusty mummies of eight of his ancestors, Willie Samuriwo kept his solitary vigil two long...

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