Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Symbolic and diachronic study of inter-cultural therapeutic and divinatory roles among aLuund ('Lunda') and Chokwe in the upper Kwaango (south western Zaire)
Author:Boeck, Filip DeISNI
Periodical:Afrika Focus
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
healing rites
External link:https://doi.org/10.21825/af.v9i1-2.5780
Abstract:In times of illness or misfortune, the aLuund (or Luunda) either turn to neighbouring groups and ritually depend on them, or adopt and borrow aspects of some of these neighbours' ritual practices. Why do the aLuund credit the Chokwe (and other neighbouring groups) with a therapeutic force, instead of situating this force within the centre of their own cultural order? Starting from (ritual) praxis and experience and using data collected during field research among the aLuund of the Nzofu group in the upper Kwaango of southwestern Zaire from 1987 to 1989 and again in 1991, the author examines processes of cultural reciprocity, specifically Luunda-Chokwe intercultural ritual (therapeutic and divinatory) interaction, from a diachronic and from a more 'symbolic' perspective, focusing on culture specific relations between patient and therapist. The author argues that Luunda cultural patterning tries to conceal its own problematic existential conditions by means of the image it produces of the 'marginal' Chokwe. The Chokwe then function as 'trickster-healers'. The fundamental mediating and therefore ambivalent and equivocal character of the trickster provides the Chokwe therapist with the force to heal from the margin and to transform disruption into unity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.