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From insults exchanged by children living in refugee camps near Luanda, Angola, between 2002 and 2003. “ ‘You Traded Your Mother for an Unripe Mango’: Playing with Insults in an Angolan Refugee Community,” by Andrew M. Guest, was published in the January/April issue of the Journal of Folklore Research. Translated from the Portuguese.

In the time of war, you traded your mother for two tins of sardines.
Your father used witchcraft to steal bread from children.
During the time of war, someone had your father in his pocket.
Your father made a doll pregnant, and he ran away into the bush.
Your mom is the best at trying to dodge the rain.
Your father and your mother were playing basketball under the bed, and they were scoring in the bedpan.
Your father is only able to walk with crutches, but you asked him for a ride.
You went to register a fish as your younger brother.
You have a freezer in your house that works with wood but only freezes dried fish.
In the time of war, you used diarrhea to bake a cake for Christmas.
Your mother sells water in the evening, and when she sees the police she hides the water in her pubic hair.
Your father fought for fifteen years, hair grew on the sole of his foot, and he didn’t win anything.
Your father has the best witchcraft in the world, but he used it to stop farting with a hammer.
You ate the telephone and shit hello.

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July 2014

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