Credits & Author's Note
Thank you for reading, folks! I typically post my stories with a chapter a week once it is all finished, but there didn't seem to be a following for this story, so I just uploaded it all at once. I hope that someone stumbles across it and enjoys it! As a matter of legality, I don't own anything in this story except the hard work. I don't own: the Rescue Rangers, Tanzanite mines, gold mines, British Petroleum, the Waldorf Astoria, crop dusting planes, Star Trek, the X-Files, Top Gear, Mary Poppins, Olduwan tool kits, remote control cars, witches, or anything remotely exciting or of monetary value. I also don't own anything else that I mentioned in the story and have probably forgotten about by now. :)
And more for my own sake than anyone else's:
I will be frank – I don't remember writing parts of this. I started this story in 2010, the year before I graduated from college. I finished 90% of it a year later, and then for whatever reason could not finish it. I sat on it until 2014, during grad school, when one random night in a fit of I CAN'T WRITE THIS THESIS ANYMORE I decided to reread what I had written. At that point, referring to my excellent beta's notes from 2011, I rewrote parts of a few chapters and wrote and inserted an entirely new chapter (12). After graduating in 2015, I decided one afternoon to really and honestly finish the blasted thing. I reread what there was, knowing that all I was missing was the final scene. I was honestly surprised to find that I still liked what I had written, which rarely happens and means that I did a good job. I read chapter 12 that night with no memory of having written it earlier that spring. I left it as was, counting it as a fit of inspiration in the midst of my academic writing fatigue.
As an anthropologist, I had a lot of fun making up the Kidari. The Kidari are very loosely based on two groups: the Maasai of Tanzania, and an un-named group in South Africa who appear in the awesome-to-read ethnography Return to Laughter.
The Kidari resemble the Maasai in that they live in the same region, the clothing is similar, the color red's significance was drawn from their symbolism, and 'Kanoni' and 'Mwamba,' are both Maasai names. Kanoni means 'little bird.' Mwamba means 'rock' or 'stone.' I don't remember how I found the name Asani, but it sounds cool.
The Kidari resemble the group in Laughter in supernatural respects. The entire concept of witches, outsiders as possible witches, and the battles that go on between them were all derived from this ethnography. Also, this un-named group's understanding of the 'heart' became key to all the character development Gadget and Chip go through with Mwamba as their instructor. Also of note, this group lived in small homesteads with huts. A small group of families live in huts within the chief's homestead. In this group the chief may have supernatural powers, but a witch living nearby his homestead may be equally respected and feared, because he could exercise his power for or against the chief.
So. There is your anthropology lesson for the day. I hope you enjoyed the story. Please leave me a review, because there is nothing better in my inbox than good fanfic review. Well, job offers are also appreciated, but I sincerely doubt any museum professionals or anthropologists are reading this story in the hopes of finding a new employee.