Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tracing Language Movement in Africa$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ericka A. Albaugh and Kathryn M. de Luna

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657543.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2020

Metaphors to Live By in the Diaspora

Metaphors to Live By in the Diaspora

Conceptual Tropes and Ontological Wordplay among Central Africans in the Middle Passage and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.343) Chapter 16 Metaphors to Live By in the Diaspora
Source:
Tracing Language Movement in Africa
Author(s):

Robert W. Slenes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190657543.003.0016

Inspired by research in anthropology and cognitive science that places analogical thinking at the center of human culture and cognition, this chapter focuses on the metaphors by which western Central Africans, particularly speakers of Kikongo, understood—and withstood—the horrors of the Middle Passage and New World enslavement. Canoe metaphors figured prominently in West Central Africa. So too did tropes making ontological connections between things designated by phonetic (near-) homonyms. Both types of analogies helped people explain their lineage origins (locating them in past migrations under duress), find cures for social ills, seal marriages and other alliances, and open liminal paths from suffering to plenitude in this world and in the afterlife. Based primarily on the author’s research in dictionaries of African languages, particularly Kikongo, and on Central African cults of affliction-fruition in Brazil’s 19th-century Southeast, the essay argues that strong shipmate bonding during the Atlantic crossing embodied these homeland metaphors.

Keywords:   Western Central Africa, Atlantic slave trade, Kikongo, Kimbundu, conceptual metaphor, ontological wordplay, Ma-lúngu, slavery, cults of affliction-fruition, candomblé

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .