Katanga Living

This section is devoted to certain aspects of every-day life common to the province of Katanga.  

You can see how bricks are made in the "NYUMBA" (house in Swahili) section.  Many of the homes in Katanga are built using these clay bricks 

The MUNKOYO section describes the preparation of a popular drink made mostly in rural areas in Katanga. 

The third section, KIKANDA, demonstrates how this popular food is prepared. 

Digging up clay rich soil

Soil heavy in clay content is excavated for use in brick building.  Clay is the element which makes the bricks hard after baking.  Often the soil found in termite mounds is preferred as the termites build their mounds by bringing up clay rich soils from beneath the surface.

Filling the brick pressGreasing the press

The moist soil is mixed with dried straw and then put in a brick press.  Old motor oil is used to grease the press and facilitate removing the brick from the press.
Stacking bricks for dryingnyumba5.jpg (27652 bytes) Once out of the press the raw bricks are set out in the sun to dry.  One can see how the bricks are stacked, allowing air to pass in between them in the drying process.
nyumba6.jpg (32018 bytes)nyumba7.jpg (35259 bytes) After the bricks are dry a brick oven is built.  It is in this form that the bricks will be baked.  The heat will change the composition of the clay in the bricks and they will become much harder.
nyumba8.jpg (40828 bytes) The spaces in between the bricks are then covered by mud to reduce the amount of heat that escapes the brick oven.  Once the fire is lit in the oven, metal plates are placed in front of the openings to contain the heat. 
nyumba9.jpg (33167 bytes)nyumba91.jpg (42725 bytes) Wood and lots of it is required to get the ovens hot enough to properly cook the bricks.  One can see that this technique can be quite a burden on local forestry resources.  
nyumba92.jpg (42824 bytes) Once the fire has cooled, the bricks are ready for use in home construction.  In areas where cement is expensive or hard to acquire, a mortar mixture can be made with chalk locally available from artisanal quarries. 

1munkoyo.jpg (26898 bytes)2munkoyo.jpg (26923 bytes) The most important ingredient in Munkoyo is a root found in savanna areas in Katanga.  The dried strips of root are prepared by pounding them into a fibrous pulp.  
3munkoyo.jpg (28047 bytes)4munkoyo.jpg (26695 bytes) Corn flour and the root pulp are added to water and then brought to a boil. 
5munkoyo.jpg (22319 bytes)6munkoyo.jpg (26698 bytes) The resulting liquid is then sifted through a sieve to separate the root pulp from the remaining liquid.  The liquid is then stored in large gourds.  The gourds are made from squashes that are grown specifically for this purpose and can reach three feet in diameter.
7munkoyo.jpg (24867 bytes) Once in the gourd one can drink the Munkoyo either soon after it was prepared or after it has had some time to ferment.  The strength of the fermented Munkoyo depends on the length of time it has spent in the gourd.   

1kikanda.jpg (21095 bytes) Kikanda, also known as "boudin", is a snack-like food prepared from peanut flour, Kikanda root flour and onions.  Once can see the peanut flour in the plastic bag at left and  the Kikanda root flour is the brown powder.  Kikanda roots resemble small potatoes.  
2kikanda.jpg (29848 bytes) The green and bulb onions are cut and added to boiling water along with the peanuts and wheat flour.  The mixture is lightly salted.  As can be seen in this photo most households use charcoal for cooking purposes.  
21kikanda.jpg (27169 bytes) Once all the ingredients are in the water the mixture is stirred until all is a thick paste.  As it cooks, the paste becomes solid at which point it is taken off the heat.
22kikanda.jpg (30862 bytes) In order to make sure that the center and top of the Kikanda are well cooked, a metal plate with hot charcoal is placed on the mixture.  Once fully baked the ball of Kikanda is ready to be eaten.
23kikanda.jpg (27621 bytes) Kikanda can often be seen being sold on the street and in markets.  As shown on the left, small pieces are cut and sold to passers by. 
 
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