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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 610)...

    I see that you used the word/name Bwana in the conversation on pages 222-227 between the narrator and Ishmael. But what is the true significance of the name. Is it simply just as the dictionary defines it as "Used as a form of respectful address in parts of Africa." or does it have more meaning than that?

    ...and the response:

    In a literal sense, it has no more meaning than that, but of course Ishmael is using the term satirically. In old movies set in Africa, you'll almost always hear the servile natives address the Great White Hunter as Bwana. (Naturally he knows much more about hunting in Africa than they do--and of course he's smarter, braver, and so on.)


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