Cry, the Beloved Country

On chapter 32 What do the men do with the sticks and flags?

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Jarvis and the local magistrate drive into Ndotsheni. They some sticks with flags into the ground to measure the land. The chief must make sure that nobody tampers with the flags. The mysterious sticks in the ground, considered by the village with nearly religious significance, give some indication of the concrete plans that Jarvis has concerning bringing improvement to Ndotsheni. The sticks in the ground represent a mix of both the traditional and the modern: the use of basic building materials to represent a modern, technological improvement (likely a dam). This confluence of the modern and the traditional is additionally represented by the communal efforts of James Jarvis and Stephen Kumalo, who employ their respective modern training and traditional values in order to effect change in the village.