• Iracema Dulley, Notes on a Disputed Process of Signification

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    DULLEY, Iracema. Notes on a Disputed Process of Signification: The Practice of Communication in Spiritain Missions in the Central Highlands of Angola. in: Vibrant – Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, v. 5, n. 2. July to December 2008. Brasília, ABA. Available at http://www.vibrant.org.br/issues/v5n2/iracema-dulley-notes-on-a-disputed-process-of-signification/


    This essay focuses on the practice of communication in the Catholic missions of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in the Central Highlands of Angola, in the territory of the Ovimbundu, from the mid-19th century to the pre-Liberation War period in the 20th century. Its empirical sources basically consist of translations of Catholic doctrinal material into Umbundu, of collections of oral genres translated from Umbundu into Portuguese, and of ethnographic and historic records referring to the period. Based on these sources, the aim is to reconstruct the process of symbolic struggle between the agents which gave rise to the convention of meaning established in the missions. The hypothesis is that this convention was formed by indexing local ritual practices of “ancestor worship” to Christian ritual practices and doctrine.

    Keywords: missions – Angola – communication – translation