Les Lunda – The Lunda – République Démocratique du Congo – Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Lunda are a dignified people. Powerful, brave, proud and loyal to the traditions of their ancestors. The Lunda were one of the most respected and successful civilisations in central Africa from the 18th to the mid-19th century, but even in the 21st century their culture and traditions remain vital and relevant.

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In Musumba, the imperial capital of the Lunda, located in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the ancient rites of the ancestors are still practised by the population. The traditional royal dynasty still has authority there even today, and the coronation ceremony is one of the cornerstones of Lunda civilisation.

Italian photographer Angelo Turconi, passionate about the region and its people, wanted to capture the vitality of these Bantu people, who maintain a strong attachment to their culture and social structure, despite the unnatural borders and divisions of their kingdom since the colonisation period. Together with photographer John Anthony and anthropologist Manuela Palmeirim, author of a voluminous and documented study on the Lunda and their peculiar culture, he was a privileged witness to one of the most impressive ceremonies of the Lunda: the rite of the king’s coronation.

As in his earlier publication, ‘Sur les pistes de Congo’, he takes us on a journey to a part of Africa that manages to preserve many of its traditions, but is also firmly rooted in the present.