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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language, Names, and War: The Case of Angola
Author:Brinkman, IngeISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Angola
Subjects:national liberation struggles
personal names
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514946
Abstract:This article examines the links between naming practices and war. The focus is on MPLA names used during the struggle for independence in Angola (1961-1975). These names are framed in the wider context of the relations between language and war. In many African contexts, names are not singular and fixed, but may change with every personal transformation. Entering the life of a soldier constitutes such a drastic change. For guerrillas, the necessity of secrecy and anonymity forms a further reason to use a pseudonym. The article shows that through war names, a kaleidoscope of issues may be addressed, including the relations between language, rank and power, personal history and popular culture, spirit possession and resurrection, self-description and labelling, writing and legitimacy, and secrecy and identity. The article is based on research carried out among Angolan migrants in Kehemu and Kaisosi, two locations near Rundu in the Kavango Region of Namibia, in 1996, 1997 and 1999. Bibliogr., note, sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]