The Great Nuakta people have lived for millennia in secrecy. Tales and hushed whispers about us were spread among the travellers and adventurers, but no one had imperial proof. There wouldn’t be any, not until 1917, when a lost aeroplane pilot saw smoke rising up from the Great Nuakta Temple.
It would be another 45 years before modern civilization came to my country. 50 years before my village would be discovered in the “backwoods”. Another 15 years before our “outdated and irrelevant religious and spiritual practises” were deemed “violent and wildly barbaric”. One man said that “we were the epicentre of all the world’s evil”.
The Great Nuakta people did not take kindly to such criticism. Angry protest began, rallies were held. People with bullhorns shouted in the streets. The condemnation of the “outside world” and their beliefs spread, grabbing the attention of other people groups that had been marginalized. Soon, law abiding people were being arrested, then beaten, then left to die in the streets.
How far we have come as a modern people.
It was decided by powers of authority that all marginalized people would be allowed to indulge their diverse ethnicity, religious expression, or heritage one last time. These rules and leaders believed in oneness, a unity by sameness.
With no other course of action, and the threat of annihilation looming, the Great Nuakta people set out for one final and great sacrifice to the god, Nuak.
I was that final sacrifice.