The rock art of Chinamwali: material culture and girls' initiation in south-central Africa

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Show simple item record Zubieta Calvert, Leslie Francis 2010-05-03T12:30:45Z 2010-05-03T12:30:45Z 2010-05-03T12:30:45Z
dc.description.abstract In this thesis I examine the material culture of initiation in central Mala i, eastern Zambia and central-western Mozambique. The White Spread-eagled tradition is a rock art tradition that has been linked to the Che a girls’ initiation ceremony: Chinamwali. Women no longer paint as part of the initiation but they continue to make other objects that they use as mnemonic devices in this ceremony. I explore the parallels between these objects and the paintings, based on ethnographic accounts and data collected in my fieldwork. Rock paintings are interpreted in this study as part of a range of material culture that had a specific purpose: to create a dynamic cognitive process with which the initiate learnt the important rules of society. I explore how the material culture of initiation is used to help in the recall of instructions alongside the intangible aspects of the ceremony such as songs, dances and music. I explore the ways in which the objects are created, used and disposed of, in the light of memory and secrecy. I discuss various aspects of the use of symbolism in the context of initiation. Lastly, I explore why the women choose particular images as symbolic carriers of the instructions based on their perceptions of the animal world, the woodland and the village. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title The rock art of Chinamwali: material culture and girls' initiation in south-central Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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