Photos above and below in the Ngweshe kingdom of the Shi (Kabare territoire)Young Shi women carrying heavy loads of house and fence building materials, walking along a road to the marketplace where these and many other goods are sold (Photos by DB, 1952).


In the early fifties, the Shi, a pastoral and agricultural population, inhabited the Kabare territoire, which included the city of Bukavu. They lived in scattered habitats without village concentrations. Their centralized political organizations centered around the two major chiefs, Kabare and Ngweshe.

Women on the road leading from Ngweshe (one of the big Shi chiefs; in the late twenties, the chief was a woman) to Mbenga (2000 meters above sea level), see Photos 2-6.

Photo 1: Taken in the Katana area, Kabare chiefdom, it features a typical beehive shaped house, surrounded by a fence of small bamboo sticks – dwelling typical for a Shi married couple and their small children, and eventually a cow.