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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of Bushbucks without Horns: Male and Female Initiation among the Aluund of Southwest Zaire
Author:De Boeck, FilipISNI
Periodical:Journal des africanistes
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
girls' initiation
Cultural Roles
Abstract:Among the Aluund of southwestern Zaire, the 'mwiingoony' society is open to all circumcised men, and the 'chiwiil' society to all women who have undergone menarche rites. To initiate men and women into these 'sodalities' means transforming them from 'bushbucks without horns' (the uninitiated) into knowledgeable initiates, so that they acquire a practical awareness of their distinct, yet interdependent, male and female body-selves, of the alternative models of Luunda gender relations, and of the social responsibilities of manhood and womanhood. This article, which is based on field research conducted from September 1987 to March 1989, sheds light on these creative, transformative initiatory practices, describing the successive sequences of the 'mwiingoony' and 'chiwiil' rituals, which are intended to establish, restore or replenish the consonance between body-self, social body and cosmological world view. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. also in French.