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We were given the following indigenous saying from the République Central D'Afrique, Central African Republic.
The source of our information was a former executive with the World Bank.
Because the official language of the Central African Republic is French, we will first give the saying in its native language, and provide an English translation below.
Les Diamants sont...
Trouvé par des noirs
Acheté par des musulmans
Vendus par des juifs, et
Portés par des putains.
Found by blacks
Bought by muslims
Sold by jews, and
Worn by prostitutes.
Our informant explained that the Central African Republic is a very poor country, possibly with the lowest per capita income in the world. It is also the source of a small number of high quality alluvial diamonds. The black indigenous population have a cynical view of the diamond trade. Apparently when they discover a diamond the size of a pigeon's egg, they are likely to receive for it a month's pay, perhaps £5 or £10.
From the saying, we guess that they know they are being exploited, but have little choice. They undoubtedly take some pleasure in the philosophy of the saying.
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