6. Gathering Caterpillars

At around the beginning of the rainy season, caterpillars called chipmiappear on trees in the woodland. The caterpillar is a precious source of protein, and it is a favorite of the villagers. The villagers go out into the woodland in groups, and stay and sleep there, intensively gathering chipmi, which have grown as big as a human thumb. They dry the caterpillars after squeezing the entrails out with their fingertips so that they can be kept well. The dried caterpillars, boiled with salt, become a precious subsidiary food for the villagers. People can also earn cash by selling the caterpillars to merchants. People believe that the moth, the adult form of the caterpillar, is a metamorphosis of their ancestors, and forbid its capture.


Caterpillars that have grown as large as a human thumb

Gathering caterpillars

Changes of Village Life in the Woodland of Northern Zambia: The Case of Bemba People

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