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photo essay historic religion South Central Africa


Wim van Binsbergen



click on thumbnails to enlarge

(all photographs taken 1977-1995 -- 2000 Wim van Binsbergen)


image caption
survey the land of Nkoya: the road between Njonjolo and Kalale at the crossing of the Kazo river
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explore a Nkoya village and pause at its housing styles, clothing habits, material objects and agricultural produce
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seconded by her little under-age helper, and under the approving eyes of her mentrix, the novice (kank'anga) performs her solo dance at the end of her initiation training period
another phase in the coming-out dance
the royal ancestral shrine of the kings of the Nkoya Nawiko; note the sculptured ancestral poles
Nkoya men bring the royal salute to the royal graves at the Sikombwe royal establishment, Kaoma district, 1992
a modern royal shrine: the concrete tombstone for Mwene Kanyinca, king of the Nkoya Nawiko in the early twentieth century
the late Mwene Mutondo, king of the Nkoya Nawiko, posing in state at the Kazanga annual ceremony of 1991
the late Mwene Kahare, king of the Nkoya Mashasha, performs the royal dance at the Kazanga royal ceremony of 1991
the late Mwene Kahare, king of the Nkoya Mashasha, prostrates himself in order to drink from the sacrificial traditional beer which is contained in a enamel bowl sunken to the rim into the ground, at the temporary royal ancestral shrine at the end of his royal dance during the Kazanga annual ceremony, 1991. Note the basket with currency notes about to be offered to the shrine. The bowl replaces the human victim's skull-cap stipulated by custom


click here for additional photos of the Nkoya area



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