Jungle Dwellers – Jungle by Radi Nedelchev

Jungle by Radi Nedelchev (Via Magnolia Box)

One head, a foot, a glimpse of a body, half-shadows, half-real, the jungle dwellers slide in between the trees, cautious of one another. In silence they progress into the depth of the infinite rows of the trees and the tangle of the lianas. The thick layer of grass covering the ground cushions their bare feet and quietens their steps.

Some are here for the hunt, while others return to their huts. Unafraid of the sly snake slithering on tree trunks, or the menacing cheetah prowling the surroundings, the jungle dwellers advance step by step knowing that somewhere, somehow, one of their peers is keeping an eye on them. They move one shoulder simultaneously forward and back, while their hips embrace the tempo of the percussions in the air.

The tribe chief mechanically hits his djembes’ skin, eyes closed, praying for the gods to protect his people who are returning from the other side of the village. The incantations, blended with the repetitive notes chase away evil spirits, and distract fauna. Untamable yet accustomed to one another’s presence, the jungle dwellers and the animals are family.

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