Even the death of a "hard" man like Seyni Kountche engenders a sense of loss, for loss often infuses memories of the distant past. In the Republic of Niger, the griot's poetry invites people to reflect about the glories of the distant past often compelling them to remember with a sense of loss. An elder in Wanzerbe, the Songhay village famous for its sorcerers, once expressed his sense of loss to me.