Bambote, Batwa/Bacwa, or Basi’asumba are called “all those who spend their life in lwekya (the bush)” and “those who are are heavily engaged in hunting with nets, spears, and dogs, more than trapping.” Many of these dispersed Bambote groups are claimed by the Bembe to be of Bembe origin, but all these groups categorically refuse these origins. All of them speak a certain form of ‘Ebembe or Inyindu language. They have no Bwami or Alunga association but honor the Bahombo (nature spirits). The younger generations tend to go trough the Butende circumcision rites widely dispersed throughout Bembe land; they live in small hamlets that are isolated or at the rim of a Bembe village (see manuscripts on this website).

The photos taken between 1949 and 1952 illustrate men and women involved in some of the dances linked with hunting or preliminary to the hunt; one photo shows small shrines for the bahombo spirits.  The last photo shows a man blowing in a bamboo as part of a ritual used in the nature spirit cult. Some photos show the very long stems of the spears used in hunting.

bembe2021.jpgDanse mboteMbote Bembe dancers prefig hunt number 134 1950Mbote Bembe shrines nature spirits number 99 1950Mbote dancers large groupe rare number 157mbote008mbote014number 138 1950number 139 1950number 140 1950