Blurring the Lines. Ritual and Relationships between Babongo Pygmies and their Neighbours (Gabon)

Abstract : This article focuses on the ritual performance of relations between Babongo Pygmies and their neighbours in Gabon. Whereas the Babongo occupy socially subordinate positions vis-à-vis neighbouring populations, the Bwiti initiation ritual inverses this relational form by placing Pygmies at its mythical origin-point. The Babongo who perform at rituals embody the "Pygmy" as he is construed by their neighbours. However, the profound changes undergone by Bwiti over the 20th century have allowed for the emancipation of the Babongo. In becoming full-blown ritual actors, they enact Bwiti's origin myth for their own sake. Thus subaltern actors emerge as central participants on the ritual scene.
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Julien Bonhomme, Magali de Ruyter, Guy-Max Moussavou. Blurring the Lines. Ritual and Relationships between Babongo Pygmies and their Neighbours (Gabon). Anthropos -Freiburg-, Richarz Publikations-service GMBH, 2012, vol. 107 (n°2), p. 387-406. ⟨halshs-00801999⟩

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