Photographing nature and people in Congo-Brazzaville

The New York Times recently reviewed Congo Tales, a new book about people living in the Mbombo region near Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo.  As the Times summarized it:

A team including Pieter Henket, a Dutch photographer; Eva Vonk, a Dutch producer; Steve Regis “Kovo” N’Sondé, a Congolese artist and philosopher; his brother Wilfried N’Sondé, a Congolese writer and musician; and a group of conservationists and researchers spent five years in the basin. There, they collected and translated the tales of the people of the Mbomo region. The stories were then edited by the N’Sondé brothers, a job suited to the pair who grew up with stories passed down from their grandmother.

The resulting photos are stunning.  A few of my favorites:

A young Congolese woman in a pink dress stands in front of a brick house, wearing a large banana leaf over her head

A young woman displays her family’s totem animal, a bird, by putting a leaf over her head

A woman sits in a carved wooden crescent moon.  She's holding her child, and another 30 children are gathered around her

The Woman in the Moon is a story about how the days of the week were established

A Congolese man in an orange robe stands in the forest.  He's surrounded by 15 young boys with green paint on their faces

Young boys gather around the unofficial mayor of the village, in a setting meant to replicate a story about the importance of learning from one’s elders

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