Edible Fungi Consumed by the Lamba and Bemba People of Haut-Katanga (DR Congo)


  •   Bill Kasongo Wa Ngoy Kashiki

  •   André De Kesel

  •   Ernest Kabange Mukala

  •   Koen Bostoen

  •   Jérôme Degreef


The objective of this work is to establish a list of species of edible fungi consumed by the Lamba and Bemba people of Haut-Katanga (DR Congo). This study contributes to the valorization of edible fungi gathered in the miombo woodlands of Haut-Katanga. A survey was conducted among Lamba and Bemba people of the peri-urban area of Lubumbashi. The first author conducted structured and semi-structured surveys among 331 people, mostly women aged 30-50.

The results show the existence of thirty-eight edible species belonging to 9 genera and 8 families. The majority is ectomycorrhizal (66%) followed by Termitomyces (21%), while only a few are saprotrophic (13%). Lamba and Bemba people consume all taxa. Twenty-three local names have been recorded in their respective languages, i.e., Kilamba and Kibemba, two closely related Bantu languages belonging to the family’s Eastern clade. The Lamba and Bemba do not consume species of the genera Russula (Russulaceae) and Boletus (Boletaceae). We succeeded in reconstructing the conceptualization underlying the creation of several Kibemba and Kilamba mushroom names. Popular and scientific taxonomies rarely overlap: one and the same species may have different names in Kilamba and Kibemba, while one and the same name in Kilamba and/or Kibemba is often used for several congeneric species. Species considered toxic and not consumed do not have a Kilamba or Kibemba name of their own. Instead, they are collectively referred to by a term fyana fya bene, literally meaning “big (dangerous) children of them” and signaling that local consumers reject those species.

Keywords: Ethnomycology, edible fungi, Miombo Woodlands, Haut-Katanga, Lamba, Bemba


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How to Cite
Wa Ngoy Kashiki, B. K., De Kesel, A., Kabange Mukala, E., Bostoen, K., & Degreef, J. (2021). Edible Fungi Consumed by the Lamba and Bemba People of Haut-Katanga (DR Congo). European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, 3(3), 41–46. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejfood.2021.3.3.289