- Here the cassava bread is being
served with fish and mushrooms in a palm oil based sauce. Delicious!! The
bread is eaten by hand in a communal fashion with everyone sharing from the same bowl.
Shown as it is typically served in the village. Plates and pots are
luxury items and are therefore used sparingly.
women carrying corn to the local market. Corn flour is usually added to the cassava
bread. The corn adds protein which cassava lacks.
- In rural areas, larger villages hold weekly or bi-weekly markets
where animals are slaughtered for meat. Markets are a source of beef, pork or
goat for the local population. Often, the price of such meat is so expensive
that an average villager must save during the week to buy a piece of meat for the
|| Goat is another source of meat in the village. Here the goat is
being prepared for butchering. Fire is being used to burn the hair off the
animal as the first step in the preparation process.
Palm oil comes from palm nuts which are harvested by climbing high up
in palm trees. Palm wine is also tapped in the same area on the tree.
Palm wine tappers make holes in the tree at the base of the male flower. Using
funnels made of palm leaves the tappers collect the palm wine as it drips from the tree
into gourds that they hang from the palm fronds.
||This is a picture of a male tree. One can see
the male flower emerging from the center of the trunk. As
mentioned above, palm wine is tapped by cutting this male flower and
collecting the sweet juice which seeps out at the base. The
flower is also burned and the ashes are used a basic, bicarbonate
powder in the preparation of stewed manioc leaves called "saka-saka
mukedi" in kikongo. The ashes can also be used for
agricultural purposes including fishculture as a source of
||Here one can see where palm nuts grow
on the female palm tree. Once the nuts are ripe they will
begin to hang from the center of the tree from a thick
this photo the palm nuts can be see in two forms. The first is the bunch being
transported by the man on the right and the second in the basket and in Tata Mukobo's hand
after being cut out of the bunch. To extract the oil, the nuts are boiled and then pounded
to release the oil from the fibers that surround a hard pit on the inside of the
nut. The fibers are then separated and pressed to release the oil. This oil is
used in most cooking in the Bandundu region, where palm trees are abundant. A
favorite and exquisite dish is chicken cooked in palm sauce.
||Palm oil is also processed on a larger scale using
artisanal oil presses like the one on the left. The nuts are
boiled in a large metal barrel and then poured out into this
rotating press, which separates the fibers from the nuts and in turn
squeezes the oil out the bottom. The resulting oil is
poured in barrels and transported to urban centers like Kikwit and
Kinshasa for sale.
- The preacher in the village of Manga displays symbols of both of his professions.
In his right hand he holds the bible and in his left is a pineapple. During the week
he plants pineapples and on Sunday he leads the community in prayer.
|| Palm wine can quench the most serious thirst. This
amazing drink comes in many flavors, from tasting like fruit juice with little to no
alcohol content to being comparable to a strong grape wine. The flavor of the same
wine changes from morning to afternoon, the alcohol content increasing as the day
||For Tata Nzuzi here, the gourd which contained his
palm wine made a great party hat !!!