Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Lele people are located in Central Africa in the southwestern part of what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Lele live on the edge of the massive equatorial forest, and the latter, as could be expected, plays a major role in Lele life and occupies a central place in Lele religion. The Lele believe that the forest, and all that it hosts, was given to them by Njambi, the Supreme Being. It is from the forest that the Lele receive water, maize, firewood, manioc, salt, fish, oil, and animal meat, which are all necessary for their sustenance. The forest also provides them with medicinal plants. The Lele, therefore, hold the forest in great esteem. They see it as a primarily male sphere, from which women are often banned. On ...