Preparing for the Compass Test
How do I approach the reading passages? Mouse over the questions to see the answers.
Learn how to recognize each type of question.
Learn how to approach each type of question.
Match the tone words to their definitions.
Now try this sample passage. Use hints as needed.
High green curtains of trees woven with tangled streamers of vine shield the jungle. A siren scream of cicadas pierces the air. The day passes in a blur, and night descends quickly.
And that's when we are accosted by the screaming men on the riverbank. Kembaren refuses to come to their side of the river. "It's too dangerous," he whispers. Now the two Korowai armed with bows and arrows are paddling a pirogue toward us. I ask Kembaren if he has a gun. He shakes his head no.
As their pirogue bumps against ours, one of the men growls that laleo are forbidden to enter their sacred river, and that my presence angers the spirits. Korowai are animists, believing that powerful beings live in specific trees and parts of rivers. The tribesman demands that we give the clan a pig to absolve the sacrilege. A pig costs 350,000 rupiahs, or about $40. It's a Stone Age shakedown. I count out the money and pass it to the man, who glances at the Indonesian currency and grants us permission to pass.
What use is money to these people? I ask Kembaren as our boatmen paddle to safety upriver. "It's useless here," he answers, "but whenever they get any money, and that's rare, the clans use it to help pay bride prices for Korowai girls living closer to Yaniruma. They understand the dangers of incest, and so girls must marry into unrelated clans."
About an hour farther up the river, we pull up onto the bank, and I scramble up a muddy slope, dragging myself over the slippery rise by grasping exposed tree roots. Bailom and the porters are waiting for us and wearing worried faces. Bailom says that the tribesmen knew we were coming because they had intercepted the porters as they passed near their treehouses.
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