Foreign News: The King & 800 Wives

On the farthest fringes of the central Congo rain forest lives fat King Lukengu, monarch of the peace-loving Bakuba and their subject tribe, the Bakete. Far as he is from the fighting and feuding in the new republic's cities, King Lukengu has nonetheless been roughly handled by democracy. Reason: his 800 wives.

The wives—some inherited from his predecessor, some the gift of subjects eager to display loyalty, and some simply picked out by the monarch himself—were more than companions to King Lukengu. They sang his praises, danced at his orders, embroidered the exquisite raffia tapestries on the walls of his jungle palace,...

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