| 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.
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.
|| 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.
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 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.
- 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.