Seminario de Investigación en Museología de los Países de Lengua Portuguesa y Española, II, 2010
Mabaia Manzungu : tratado de deveres e direitos
María Arminda Miranda e María del Rosario Martins
AbstractAn ancient tradition existed between the Congo group from Cabinda (North-Western Angola), founded in everyday and ritual artifacts, on which extensive and multidisciplinary research has been produced. In this paper this practice will be examined, supported by the study of a remarkable collection of pot lids called Mabaia Manzungu (or Libaia Linzungu, in singular), which shows some of the most important aspects of material culture and oral tradition of the Woyo people. This collection, gathered from 1948 over ten years by the missionary José Martins Vaz, is currently in storage in the Anthropological Museum at the University of Coimbra. The sculpted designs on the surface of these objects represent keyword phrases which translate into verbal expressions the core of immaterial culture: proverbs, sentences or stories, setting the grid to select their symbolic value and contextualize each message. To explain this traditional way of communication within the Woyo culture, it is essential to understand the organization behind it, not only used to evaluate the meanings and the conventions of its functioning, but also the system of familiar exchanges as structural elements of the social connections of the group. The most common offerings inscribed within the kinship bonds were: -During the marriage ritual -To the son or daughter before marriage -Within marriage, between the married couple -Less commun, examples of harmony within the couple To understand the use of Mabaia Manzungu as a Treaty of Rights and Duties, it is necessary to define the arguments and to identify the motivations that functioned as symbols in a dialogue without words, challenging the oral tradition. The crossroad between social, cultural and transdisciplinary aspects leads us to question local identity and global cultural diversity. Key words: Pot lids. Material and immaterial culture. Communication. Symbolism. Angola.
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