15 Jul 2013

Eating Lokoo

One day we were following Kame Kake, and we passed a huge tree covered in Lokoo - a type of caterpillar. The bonobos chose that moment to take a break and eat some 'tende' fruit. Etenyi and Bafutsa asked me, "S'il vous plait Mama Kasty, nous pouvons aller chercher Lokoo?" They collected hundreds of Lokoo! All wrapped up in leaves, Etenyi and Bafutsa carried the caterpillars for the rest of the day. On our way back to camp, the trackers showed me how to prepare Lokoo. They used the top of a termite mound to scrape away the poisonous spines and wrapped up some Lokoo for me to take back to camp.

Embele helped to prepare the Lokoo by scrubbing away the hairs with Lokosa leaves. Interesting side note - bonobos swallow these sand-paper-like leaves whole by rolling them up with their tongues; it may be a way of ridding themselves of internal parasites. Once the Lokoo were salted and cooked I ate them. They were delicious! Big points in favour of the UN suggestion to eat more bugs.

[This video was made at Wamba, a little project to pass the time. It's perfectly cut to the Star Wars "Cantina Band" tune, but of course youtube stripped the audio for copyright reasons. I picked the closest song I could find, but it isn't perfect. If you like, you could mute it and whistle the cantina song to yourself. Just picture me saying "Mmm, tastes like popcorn" at the end!]

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