Mandom

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Dee greets her family with an African salutation, "Wa-zu-zo-Tean-o," as her friend, who is Muslim, greets them with "Asalamalakim," which literally translates to "hello to you." The mother then converses with her daughter Dee, and her daughter claims that her name is no longer Dee. She would like to be referred to as "Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo." Wangero feels that she can not be named after the people who have oppressed her. Similar to Wangero, the Dee's "boyfriend's" name is also strange. After two or three tried and failed attempts to pronounce his name, he advises Maggie and her mother to call him "Hakim-a-barber." Soon, Hakim, Wangero, Maggie, and their mother sit down to eat. Being Muslim, Hakim is unable to eat pork. Contrastingly, Wangero consumes everything in site. During dinner, Wangero begins to procure an attachment to certain objects in the house such as an old butter churn whittled by her uncle.

After wrapping and preparing the churn to take home, Wangero's concentration moves to a trunk at the foot of her mother's bed. She finds two quilts made by her grandmother, aunt, and mother and requests to keep them for herself. Unfortunately for her, the quilts had already been promised to Maggie as a wedding gift to take with her to her husband-to-be, John Thomas. Dee bursts out the phrase, "Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!" Her mother argues with her back and forth until Maggie states that Wangero should receive the quilts. With a sudden surge of sympathy toward Maggie, the mother snatches the quilts from Wangero and dumps them onto Maggie's lap. Dee then stomps out of the house to Hakim and suggests to her sister and mother that they live as if it is a new day. After Dee and Hakim depart, Maggie brings her mother a dip of snuff and the two of them enjoy it until they go inside to rest.