More Feasting in the Village, Kids and Local Baskets

The last blog was primarily about pombe – sorghum beer – that Nona brought down to the village for a family feast to which I was invited a couple of days ago.

Now about the food and other aspects of the little party:

Fetes  here are heavy on the meat and carbohydrates and any vegetables are generally mixed into one of the dishes.  The dishes are cooked over charcoal burners in the afternoon, while there is still light, and then served in the early evening.

The dishes:

  • The roadrunner chicken had been slaughtered and cooked several hours with tomatoes, onion, some red pepper, palm oil, and garlic.  Roadrunners are very tought (but tasty) and therefore require this kind of cooking.  The sauce is reduced to a thick, rich consistency and is very yummy.
  • Yellow beans – wonderful at this time of the year, freshly dry after the harvest – were cooked with potatoes and onions.
  • Rice, from Omer’s plot here in the village, was steamed and served plain, to be eaten with the rich roadrunner sauce.

Following the food, I took pictures of some the kids  who were there:

A plate of all of the foods, with Bebe looking on hopefully (he got some bones).

Yvonne (l) and Elian (r) about 6 yrs ago, before marriage and children

The girls today

Nona with her new grandson, Kennedy; Elian's baby. Kennedy is a popular name here

Yvonne's two kids, in the back, with a cousin

Just as Sorghum beer is a key part of fetes, so are baskets.  Baskets continue to be made in the traditional style, though as shown below that is also being changed.  In weddings and other celebrations baskets containing food are a key feature and still today are used in rural areas in going and coming from market.

Woman going to market with a basket that is filled with beans.

The basket Nona made for me, using new designs and materials (plastic)

Nona gave me a basket, which should have been given at Christmas, but at that time I was in the hospital.

New basket next to old one, on the right. Gourd containers for drinking pombe beer, each side

Lid of the old basket up-ended, to show the original colors, which are vegetable - therefore gradually fade with lots of use

Nona’s new basket (above) beside the one she made for me about 7 years ago.  The ‘new style’ uses plastic in order that the color is not lost, and also incorporates new patterns.  The older one that she made is similar to the traditional baskets shown below

Baskets in about 1910. Source: Baumann

Basket-making in about 1910 – made the same way today. Source: Baumann

Another reason for switching from local grasses and vegetable dyes to plastic, is that with land reclamation of the wetlands throughout the country many of the traditionally used grasses are disappearing.


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Food, Living here, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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