Magazine article Geographical

Caught in Time: On the Boyoma Falls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Wagenia Tribe Have Been Fishing in the Same Way for Hundreds of Years. Their Technique of Wedging Wooden Fish Traps into the Water-Eroded Rocks Was First Described during the 19th Century by Henry Morton Stanley, and Remains Exactly the Same Today

Magazine article Geographical

Caught in Time: On the Boyoma Falls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Wagenia Tribe Have Been Fishing in the Same Way for Hundreds of Years. Their Technique of Wedging Wooden Fish Traps into the Water-Eroded Rocks Was First Described during the 19th Century by Henry Morton Stanley, and Remains Exactly the Same Today

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

PREVIOUS SPREAD: a fisherman checks his trap at Boyoma Falls on the Lualaba River, near Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Boyoma Falls (or Wagenia Falls, as they are known by the local tribe, which shares the name) are a series of seven cataracts that stretch over the final 100 kilometres of the Lualaba River before it becomes the Congo River. Cataracts, taken from the Greek word kataraktes, meaning 'downrushing', are waterfalls or rapids where a large amount of water flows rapidly over a precipice or collection of rocks. During the dry season, when river levels are at their lowest, local fishermen wade out into the water and wedge their traps into crevices within the cataracts. The traps are wooden funnels made from branches and bamboo tied together with thin strips of bark. Fish swim into the wide end and are then trapped by the force of the current at the narrow end; ABOVE: fishermen check their baskets at Boyoma Falls. Most of the wooden frames from which the fishermen work are constructed at the river's edge, but some are positioned in the centre of the river, were the flow is greatest--the fishermen believe that this is where the largest, strongest fish live; OPPOSITE: a fisherman holds some of his catch in his mouth while cast-net fishing at Boyoma Falls. The fishermen often carry fish in this way as it leaves their hands free to fish or to grab onto the wooden scaffolding that connects the fishing grounds to the shore

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

LEFT: a fisherman checks a basket at Bamanga on the Lualaba River, about 100 kilometres upstream from the city of Kisangani. Bamanga is the second of the seven cataracts met by the river as it flows down over the Boyoma Falls. Together, the cataracts lower the altitude of the river by around 60 metres. British explorer Henry Morton Stanley came upon the Lualaba River in 1876 during his expedition to follow the Congo River to its mouth. At the time, some believed that the Lualaba River was the source of the Nile. In contrast, Stanley correctly believed that it was connected to the Great Congo River, which drained into the Atlantic Ocean. Upon reaching the cataracts, his party was forced to drag its boats across the land, where it was attacked by members of the Wagenia tribe. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.