Bundu dia Kongo and Embodied Revolutions: Performing Kongo Pride, Transforming Modern Society
2016. "Bundu dia Kongo and Embodied Revolutions: Performing Kongo Pride, Transforming Modern Society", Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo, Yolanda Covington-Ward
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This chapter focuses on the movement of Bundu dia Kongo in the current post-Mobutu era, highlighting how they use the body in mobilizing large groups of people for concerted action. Bundu dia Kongo, a Kongo politico-religious-nationalist group struggling for the political representation and governance of Kongo people, has the ultimate goal of establishing a separate Kongo nation-state. The chapter examines their ideological beliefs and political goals and then focuses on the ways that Bundu dia Kongo uses the body and the reformation of bodily habits, both in everyday interactions and spiritual worship, as a means of unifying Kongo people around cultural memories of the former Kongo Kingdom. This chapter also considers attempts by the leadership of Bundu dia Kongo to control forms of embodiment that may act as sites from which others may challenge the growing but tenuous authority of the movement.
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