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Give us this day our daily fish

A UMNS Photo Feature by Mike DuBose
Feb. 23, 2016 | KISANGANI, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS)

No fish is too big, no fish is too small for experienced fishermen who make their living and take their diet from the river.

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The Wagenia village is part of the Kisangani district. For more than 200 years, fishermen have been fishing the rapids at Stanley Falls in the Congo River. Wobbly scaffolding hangs over the roaring falls and the fish are caught in giant wooden nets.

United Methodist pastors and visitors took a ride across the river to visit with the chief who manages the ownership of the nets and decides whether or not to allow visitors to take photos.

Each net represents a family that depends on what is caught in those nets for income and daily food. Every fish — big or small—is eaten. One of the fishermen pulls flopping fish out of a beaten tin pan and talks about how each one tastes.

The chief decides positioning of the nets; some are in prime locations and others are not. He receives visitors rowed across the river in a wet, slimy pirogue that in addition to providing transportation also is used for catching fish.

This tribe has been in existence since 1883.

DuBose is photographer for United Methodist News Service. Contact him at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.