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Song of Siwa: Chapter Summaries …

Beginning (lines 1-65).
Ethereal description of the hidden valley Siwa;
Marzuk and his clan of Ice-Age hunters seek protection from environmental changes;
Marzuk senses approaching ice will doom his people;
Marzuk leads his clan to new caves near the Sea of Vanton;
Pine-tree spirits speak to Marzuk that death awaits if his clan remains by the sea;
Marzuk completes construction of pine-log rafts to cross the Sea of Vanton;
Clan members debate whether or not to trust and follow Marzuk;
Marzuk and followers depart while the others remain behind;
Wind and waves batter the rafts as they cross the Sea of Vanton;
Weakest clan members are swept overboard and disappear;
Survivors reach the shore of what is now North Africa;
Clan members who remained behind perish under layers of grinding glacial ice;
The hidden valley Siwa awaits its first human occupants.
Eastward (lines 66-149).
The North African coastal lands breed illness and danger among Marzuk’s clan;
The clan splits: Marzuk leads his faction southward while others remain along the coast;
The clan passes through high mountains into the vast Sahara region;
Illness and danger continue to plague Marzuk’s clan during their journey;
Many clansmen lose hope and begin to murmur;
God Zaghilie sends messenger bird and a life-saving spring is revealed;
Gosla, Marzuk’s mate, promises to erect a temple to god Zaghilie at journey’s end;
Feathers from the messenger bird float earth-ward as symbols of hope and safety;
Renewed in spirit Marzuk’s clan continue their eastward trek.
Promise (lines 150-277).
The long march continues as clan members fear god-sent promise was only a vision;
Advance scouts cross the Great Sand Sea and view the Siwa for the first time;
Scouts report that the Siwa is filled with wild game and springs of clear water;
Marzuk’s clan reaches the Siwa and establishes their settlement near Aghourmi hill;
Clan members erect Zaghili’s temple atop Aghourmi thus fulfilling Gosla’s promise;
Clan members offer sacred green stones as ritual offerings to god Zaghili;
Zaghili descends and promises clan protection if his rules are followed;
Rules for clan behavior, personal dress, and body ornamentation are identified;
Mothers must display sunburst designs on their dress symbolic of Zaghili’s feathers;
Fathers must prepare silver disks for virgin daughters to wear;
Daughters must wear their disks until marriage, then pass them to younger sisters;
Sons must honor their fathers and mothers;
Zaghili promises Gosla the line of Marzuk will flourish if his requirements are followed;
Zaghili requires clan leaders to wear the horns of Gurzel [ram-god] as a symbol of power;
Zaghili specifies rules for maintaining Aghourmi’s temple flame;
Zaghili promises that if rules are kept Marzuk’s line will not experience strife;
Zaghili blocks the sun’s light;
The clan agrees to honor Zaghili’s requirements and sunlight returns to the Siwa;
The grace of Zaghili now resides within the line of Marzuk.
Manhood (lines 278-489).
Relation on clan hunting and tracking skills;
Relation on the valor and strength of Marzuk;
Gosla becomes pregnant;
Relation on clan birth practices;
Gosla delivers twins as birth attendants watch in fear;
Gosla rejects clan tradition that requires the death of one twin;
Relation on the growth and maturation of the twins Zel and Zechen;
Zel and Zechen mature and undergo initiation, scarification rituals, and fasting;
Each twin required to prepare spear points, track, and kill a farna [leopard];
Zechen killed by a farna during his hunting initiation;
Zel kills a farna, honors his father, and becomes a man.
Death (lines 490-573).
Marzuk anguishes over the death of his son Zechen;
Glim’s cautionary words uttered at the birthing time of the twins are recalled;
Relation on the aging of Marzuk and Gosla;
Relation on Gosla’s illness and impending death;
Death of Gosla;
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