Kuba Nyim (ruler) Kot a Mbweeky III photos by Eliot Elisofon, Daniel Lainé and Angelo Turconi
His name: Kwεt áMbwε'ky René (III): aka Køt áMbwε'ky. Most full names consist of three successive personal names: the king’s own name, the name of his mother and the name of his mother’s mother connected by particles meaning “of.” Only this ruler has a Christian name. The aka names are often used.
The first image depicts Nyim Kot a Mbweeky III wearing abacost, which is the name for the male attire favored by Mobutu and promoted as part of the authenticity campaign, consisting of a short-sleeved suit worn without a tie. The word abacost is derived from the French a bas le costume, or “down with the suit.” Second image depicts depicts wives of Nyim Kot a-Mbweeky III reciting ‘Ncyeem Ingesh’, songs of the nature spirits, praising the monarchy. Third image depicts him wearing a royal dress called ‘Bwaantshy’; royal headdress known as ‘Ntshuum Aniym’. The fourth image depicts him wearing a royal dress called 'labot latwool’ and royal headdress known as 'Shody’; necklace 'Lashyaash’ made of leopard teeth; sword 'Mbombaam’, lance 'Mbwoom Ambady’. Each Kuba king owns two royal dresses called ‘Bwaantshy’, one of which is always buried with him Only the king is permitted to wear them. The sword and the scepter are the marks of supreme authority and the headdresses represents the “house of the king”