e Kikumbi is an initiatory rite widespread among the Bantu peoples spread over Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the People's Republic of Congo.
In Pointe-Noire specifically, in the Republic of Congo, in the “vili” tradition, the ceremony of the kikumbi rite consists in secretly preparing the bride. Before the wedding the young girl hides in a corner where she undergoes a certain initiation. This practice is also observed among the “Lari”, the bavili, the basolongo, the bawoyo and other peoples in Central Africa. This ritual is linked to social life. The practice of Kikumbi is also found among the Barega, the Bahunde, but also the Baluba of Kasai among others. The latter are also famous for the love dance that, during initiation, girls learn in the sacred grove to obtain ukutchebana, an essential talent for making a good wife. As soon as their daughters reach the age of 15, many parents gather together drinks and food to please the many guests to honor this great celebration which can last between 15 and 30 days in a row. In some cases, several young girls from the same family can be interned together for the Kikumbi, in order to minimize the parents' expenses. If this ceremony is expensive, for the parents it helps to prepare the young girl for her life as a woman.
During the internment, the young girl of marriageable age is surrounded by her aunts and midwives who introduce her to the art of sex, intimate care, social relationships with the future parents-in-law and with the future husband. She will not touch anything except her intimate care. Men are forbidden to enter her room, so she moves in an escort with two or three duenna, her head covered with a loincloth down to her feet in order to avoid male gaze. She only goes out for physiological needs. After a compulsory shower around five or six in the morning, she puts on makeup with Ngoola (reddish earth) and other ointments. Every noon, she takes her meal. Every evening, a choreographic tam tam show, guessing games and bigogolo “improvised talks” by the maduki, the “elders” are organized in front of the hut where she is interned. It also happens that a griot improvises a concert. However, colonization with its imported religions, its dogmas, this ritual like most Bantu rituals were demonized which greatly reduced its practice and its influence.