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BANDUNDU
Snake: Kihuta viper
Tata Ngwanza holding a "kihuta" viper.  This dangerous snake is also a delicacy!!
 
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Beetle larvae
Different insects are also eaten depending on the season.  Edible insects include: crickets, grasshoppers, termites, and palm grubs.  Here, is a batch of palm grubs awaiting the frying pan.  Palm grubs are often prepared by frying with salt and hot peppers called "pili-pili".   Farmers attract the adult female beetles to felled palm trees by cutting a hole in the trunk and filling it with salted water.    Lured by the salt, the adult beetle lays its eggs in the palm tree.  As the grubs develop, the farmer checks the readiness of the grubs by listening to the sound their mandibles make when crunching through and eating the palm tree fibers.  Once the sound is right, the farmer cuts open the tree with a machete and harvests the grubs.  
Small duiker (antilope)  Hunting is another way to supplement the diet with animal protein.   Antelope and duiker are found in the forests of Bandundu.   Here Tata Mukobo has shot a small duiker.  Customs require that the head and a leg of the animal be given to the village chief.  The hunter and his family share the rest of the animal.
Antilope Another species of antelope found more in savannah habitat .
Cane rat Another forest animal that is hunted and trapped is the "simbriki" or cane rat.  An animal which lives in forest/swampy areas.   Field rats are also eaten.  These rats are harvested by setting fire to savanna grass.  As rats run out of the burning and smoking grass, they are trapped.
Bird's nest and snake These youngsters killed a "kihuta" and are showing it off.  The second boy from the right is holding a weaver bird nest.  Weaver birds are harvested and eaten.  The birds build nests on the ends of palm fronds.  Kids climb up the palm trees and with a long hooked stick, they pull the fronds towards the trunk where they can then pick the small birds out of the nests.
    
 
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