Bas-Congo
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Fishing in Moanda
On Bas-Congo's relatively small coastline, on the Atlantic Ocean,
fishermen from the coastal town of Moanda can be seen pulling their nets to the beach.
 
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Brick house

Homes in much of Bas-Congo are built with clay bricks, baked locally.   One can see the redness of the clay in the bricks used to build this home.  In much of Bandundu Province the homes are made differently since they only have sand as building material. 
Using throw net Another form of fishing is done using a throw net.   The fisherman slings a circular net, with a string tied to the middle, into the surf.  As the weights on the periphery of the net sink to the bottom, fish and shrimp swim towards the middle.  The fisherman then pulls the net by the string and harvests the fish caught in the mesh of the net.

Sugar cane wine press

 A favorite local drink made in western Bas-Congo is "lunguila" or sugar cane wine.  Sugar cane is peeled and the central portion of the cane stalk which contains the juice is cut and placed in the press.   As can be seen in this photo, local presses are made by fixing a paddle in a hollowed out log and the cane is then inserted and pressed between log and paddle.   The resulting juice is then set aside to ferment.  The wine is then enjoyed, after a few days of fermentation.   The gentleman in the photo was a hunter and he lost his left hand when his locally made rifle exploded during a hunt.
Grating manioc leaves

 The northern Bas-Congo area of Mayombe is known for a dish called "saka-madesu".  This delicious dish is a combination of stewed manioc leaves and beans.  The sauce is made by cooking manioc leaves together with the beans in a palm oil sauce.  Here a woman can be seen preparing leaves on a wooden, locally made vegetable grater. 

Freshwater shrimp  Freshwater shrimp can be found in the estuaries of the Congo river in the western part of Bas-Congo.  A common and delicious way to prepare these shrimp is to put them and pounded squash seeds in a leaf wrap and set them in hot coals for roasting.
Fermented manioc paste: Chikwanga
This region is also known for its "chikwanga" which is cassava root pounded into a paste, wrapped in forest leaves, and boiled.   It is sold in the same leaves and is known to make a good travel food, as the leaf wrapping keeps the chikwanga fresh.   Here the chikwanga is presented with hot "pili-pili" peppers and small yellow eggplants.  Both wrapped and  unwrapped forms of chikwanga are shown in this picture.
 
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