Signed and dated lower left "Dr Laurent, Bangala Sept 1893
In this tropical scene, the artist, named Dr Laurent, presents an episode in the daily life of the Bangala, a people from the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the harvesting of malafou.
We see a man, equipped with a calebasse and adorned with a liana belt, called "nkosi", climbing to the top of the palm tree to collect the sap. The climber is called a 'malafoutier' or 'nsamba'. Once harvested, the white sap turns amber through fermentation. The sap is transformed into palm wine, a traditional drink in these tropical regions.
While the man is busy harvesting, a woman dressed in a simple loincloth, sitting in front of the fire, takes care of the pitence.
This work by Dr Laurent faithfully represents the daily life of the Bangala people at the end of the 19th century, and highlights their close relationship with nature and their exploitation of natural resources.