Photo Of The Day

Photographer : Daniel Laine

Photographer : Daniel Laine

African King


??Nyimi Kok Mabiintsh-III King of Kuba D.R.Congo


The Nyimi Mabiintsh III, ?is fifty years old. He acquired the throne at the age of twenty. As a descendant of god the creator, The King is attributed with supernatural powers.

Due to his top position he is restricted by several constraints: he does not have the right to sit on the ground, and he cannot cross a cultivated field. Apart from his cook, no-one has seen him eat. Moreover he never travels without him, and his personal cooking utensils.

It took Laine three weeks to photograph the Nyimi (King) of the Kuba in his royal apparel, the ?bwantshy?. The outfit made out of material stitched with beads and ?cauris? (small shells used as money in Africa), weighs 160 lb.

It takes more than two hours to dress the King, and two days of spiritual preparation to be sufficiently purified in order to wear the outfit.

The weight and the heat of the bwantshy is such, that it is impossible to wear it more than one hour.

The preceding King had only worn it three times during his entire life.

From 1988 to 1991, French photographer Daniel Laine?photographed 70 African monarchs, ?whose dynasties marked the history of Africa until the middle of the twentieth century.? With hundreds of monarchs to choose from, Laine focused on those who continued to ?retain a traditional and spiritual authority that is difficult for the Western mind to comprehend.?