Study Guide

Out of Africa Part 3, Chapter 1

By Isak Dinesen

Part 3, Chapter 1

Big Dances

  • Part 3 is called "Visitors to the Farm."
  • This title is pretty accurate, because Baroness Blixen gets lots of visitors to the farm. One of them, Denys Finch-Hatton, is a favorite who comes over when he's not leading expeditions.
  • A huge social function is the Ngoma (the Native dance parties) which everybody gets into.
  • In the last few years of Blixen's stay in Africa the Government started prohibiting people putting chalk on their head, which is one of the cool ways that the Natives dress up for the Ngomas, and continues to be a hair trend people still get on board with.
  • The dances that are done are also the cause for some righteous prohibition, including the time that the farm manager's wife complained about some lascivious dancing. Wait, didn’t they make a movie about that?.
  • Before she goes away to Europe for a visit, the Kikuyu throw an Ngoma for the Baroness and, during the dancing, a cry goes through the crowd as the word spreads that Masai are coming.
  • Sure enough, twelve Masai warriors just couldn't keep away from the beat and show up at the dance, even though it's illegal for them to come to another tribe's party.
  • Everybody gets back to dancing when suddenly the whole place blows up. When the smoke clears three Kikuyu and one Masai are banged up and have to get stitches. Wainaina's mother puts a spell on the Masai so they won't get any loving from the Kikuyu girls. Oh, burn.