Ungawa

Fire…Meat…Beer

The Origin of Ungawa

Approximately 20,000 years ago, a man, looking somewhat similar to humans of today, crouched over a small pile of gray coals and blew steadily but carefully. He was 34 years old–ancient by the standards of that time, and easily agitated. Whoever was in charge of keeping that mornings fire going had decided that there was something else more important to do. But he, being one of the eldest (and therefore experienced) in the group, took it upon himself to rekindle the barely perceptible heat and before long had a strong fire burning that kept the cool evening air at bay. It was not easy to do; the sun’s heat from earlier in the day had caused the fleas in his long, gray hair to itch him unmercifully. On top of that, the small group of 17 was whooping and hollering so loud that even with his bad hearing it was hard to concentrate. Yet a small twinkle in his eye gleamed, followed by a smile. He peered over the edge of the sand cliff, and watched as five of the strongest men of the group struggled to drag a large, lifeless male antelope towards their cave. Later, as they all feasted on the well-done meat, the man surveyed the scene. The bright moon lit up the entire plain, and they could therefore see any approaching predators. The extra wood that had been thrown on the fire produced a heat so intense that they actually had to move back from it. Everyone had gotten their fill of the tender meat, and yet there was still ample left for later. His full stomach was causing his head to swim. Delirious with life, he grinned and reflected on the moment. Fire, meat, the cool night air. To this man, right here, right now, life was good. The euphoria overtook him. He stood up, grabbed one of the antelope thighs with both hands, raised it high over his head, and yelled

UNGAWA!

The group repeated the sentiment, and the nocturnal life cocked their heads towards the strange sound as it echoed through the wide plain for miles.

Cliff, Dutch, Martinez
2005