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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Domesticating Diamonds and Dollars: Identity, Expenditure and Sharing in Southwestern Zaire (1984-1997)
Author:De Boeck, Filip
Year:1998
Periodical:Development and Change
Volume:29
Issue:4
Period:October
Pages:777-810
Language:English
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:youth
social change
diamonds
trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Economics and Trade
Urbanization and Migration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00099
Abstract:This article explores the impact of the recent diamond traffic on both rural and urban life in southwestern Congo-Zaire, in an attempt at a 'multi-sited' ethnography of the circulation of cultural meanings, commodities, money and identities in an increasingly diffuse time-space, in which the standard dichotomies between rural and urban worlds, lived world and system, traditional and modern, or precapitalist and capitalist realities have lost much of their explanatory strength. More specifically, the article deals with the widespread phenomenon of the 'bana Lunda', 'the children of Lunda', young Congolese urbanites who travel from all over southwestern Zaire to the Angolan province of Lunda Norte in order to dig or dive for diamonds in the UNITA-controlled territories. It investigates the changes brought about by the diamond trade and by the influx of these urban youngsters into the rural border area, as well as the impact of the accompanying monetization, known as 'dollarization', on the daily life of villagers and urbanites in southwestern Zaire. Fieldwork was carried out in 1994 and 1995. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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