NIGERIA: The Queen's Durbar

Beside the Kaduna River one day last week, a gaudy explosion of sound and color broke over Britain's largest colony. Spearmen whooped and saddlery creaked. Drums bongity-bongity-bongitied. Reed pipes wailed, wooden kafo horns growled out Louis Armstrong blue notes. The Emir of Kano's jester wore his best blue-dyed sheepskin wig and beard. Some of the warriors wore chain mail, wide-bladed swords or helmets of Crusader descent.

They had come over mountains, through jungles, across the tsetse-fly belt, by foot, on horses and camels or in shiny new American cars to pay homage to their Queen, Elizabeth II. It was the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!