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After my fifth day of wandering the vast unforgiving island in search of the mythical tribe, I am about to forfeit the journey when a mysterious native suddenly emerges from the underbrush. He identifies himself as the tribe chieftain and extends his hand in friendship.

As I am escorted back to the secluded village, I’m promised to be introduced to a prized member of the community.

A crowd forms in front of me and the chieftain after we arrive at the village square. The chieftain calls out to the crowd, “Bolga, please step forth!”

A tall man of about 30 emerges from the crowd. With long flowing hair, he wears makeup, jewelry, lipstick, and a blue dress with clouds on it. As he steps forward, I can’t help but notice this man is also wearing brightly colored high heeled shoes with a floral motif.

“Meet Bolga!” the chieftain gloats. Bolga curtsies to me. “Please excuse our custom!” the chieftain explains, “This greeting sacrifices one’s balance in trust and shows that no weapons are in hiding. Our warriors use it as they are considered too dangerous and feared to shake hands.”

The man introduces himself in a high-pitched falsetto voice, “They call me Bolga! I lead the military. When I call out in my high pitch, I can be heard clearly even in the fiercest of battles.” I am impressed by the eloquence and clarity of the mysterious high voiced man.

“Let me introduce you to our warrior traditions”, elates the chieftain. “Bolga’s lips are painted red to represent his taste for the blood of our enemy. His face has camouflaged skin paint covering up the battle scars of war so he cannot be identified in a crowd. The jewelry he wears on his ears contour their shape so he can pinpoint the location of the footsteps of our enemies in the forest. Ah, and the jeweled pendant upon his necklace. This represents our most prestigious military honor!”

Bolga smiles and stands proud. “Very few ever wear a pink hearted pendant decorated by a full rainbow. Most of the tribesman with military service will get at most 2 rainbow colors. Bolga has all 7 and the pink heart. This brings great pride to his family.” the chieftain explains.

The chieftain continues, “As you note, his heels are high off the ground and the area around his heels diminish to a point. This way he can not only easily look over clearings, but his footsteps in the dense jungle become untraceable. All of our warriors wear high-heeled shoes for this reason. Additionally, we paint flowers upon them so they can be easily hidden.” Bolga removes his high heeled slipper and presents the green shoe with bright pink daisies, “Look at the exquisite detail, even a bee was delicately embroidered on the side”, Bolga chirps with pride.

“Oh and how can I forget the warrior outfit”, the chieftain gasps as he gestures his hands, “This sky-colored tunic is our lightest, strongest, and most flexible fabric ever; one that we’ve been perfecting for generations. It does not hinder the movement of the warrior nor does it snag on branches or twigs when manuervering quickly through the forest. With these special sky and cloud colored dyes, one can hide successfully in trees, ready to ambush the unsuspecting. Indeed, we’ve been clandestinely monitoring you for days this is exact way to discover the intentions of your visit. It is also useful in combat situations as Bolga will demonstrate”.

Bolga takes one foot off the ground and spins in a ballerina pirouette. The dress unfurls outward, freely flapping in the wind. “Magnificent!” the chieftain exclaims as the crowd cheers. I just stand there completely confused by the display.

“Oh sorry, let me explain” the chieftain says. “To win a fight, getting to the back of your opponent is one of the most martially advisable things to do. By quickly turning, our tunic expands and its base becomes circular. At the same time, the warrior’s long hair covers his face. A foe is unable to quickly judge where his back and front is. Through startling and disorienting we add crucial time in close combat situations. Our martial spin has proven very advantageous.”

Amazed by what I just witnessed, I jot notes and draw diagrams in my log book.

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Notes from my log book.

The chieftain thanks Bolga. Bolga curtsies to the chieftain and he curtsies back. Then Bolga curtsies to me. Nervously, I attempt to clumsily curtsy back and almost lose my balance. The crowd laughs and cheers at the gesture. Then in silence, the crowd splits through the center as Bolga gracefully glides down the makeshift runway in his high heels, back to his wife and children, with his long flowing dress flapping in the wind.

The chieftain takes me by the hand in excitement and exclaims “That was wonderful. Now on to our cuisine! We roasted our finest insects and glazed them with a honeyed guano reduction. You’ll love it.”

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