Seminário de Investigação em Museologia dos Países de Língua Portuguesa e Espanhola, I, 2009
Marcas de Vida Cokwe na Colecção do Museu Antropológico da Universidade de Coimbra
Maria Arminda Miranda e Maria do Rosário Martins
AbstractThe investigation around a special group of artefacts belonging to the Angolan collection in the Anthropological Museum of University of Coimbra allow us to ponder about the anthropological function of body painting and scarification’s as intentional modifications. The theme leads to multidisciplinary critic coverage, references that partially explain social dynamics and rituals associated to the analysis of questions related with esthetical and behavioural modifications. The use of colouring materials and the adoption of symbolic motifs, represent message or merely embellishment marks, with a code language, associated to the quotidian and the spirituality. Integrated in initiation rituals, these are representations of the ancestors and the continuity of life. In these contexts the changes are submitted to specific standards, so that the belonging to a people, status, age and the ritual role were marked on the body in the form of keloid scars , allowing the identity message to be recognized. The sun (tangwa), the moon (kakweji) and the cruciform sign (cingelyengelye) are Life marks represented in Cokwe masks (Angola), both in feminine and masculine. These marks are complex functions of ethnic character, values that correlate between individuals in societies with related materialized beliefs and practices, such as, in the ideographic relief of sculptural productions. The crossing of socio-cultural aspects in mankind history, both past and present, the way how certain utensils may intervene directly or indirectly in the skin, modifying it temporarily or definitely, makes the Museum a stage of multiple transdisciplinary dialogues, using the body as a way to communicate.
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