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At fringes in the desert: histories and politics of ethnicity in Southwestern Angola.

Grant number: 12/13907-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Theory of Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Omar Ribeiro Thomaz
Grantee:Diego Ferreira Marques
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This project proposes a historical review of the instrumentalization of ethnic classifications under colonial rule in Angola, confronting it with reworking of the idea of ethnicity within the postcolonial State. Taking into account a conception of Angolan citizenship that would exclude administrative crafts grounded on racial or ethnic notions, it matters reflect on how ethnicity is still a relevant issue in contemporary Angola and in which aspects it could still act as an operator of identity, territorialization, social interaction and localization facing the State. This proposal focuses on Southwest region of Angola, comprising the Namibe and Cunene provinces and the south portion of Huila province and the populations commonly called Herero, Ovambo and non-Bantu. Concerning this context, it intends to discuss three main questions. Firstly, what would be the legacy of the classificatory practices of missionaries, anthropologists and colonial administrators to the expression of ethnic identities among these populations. Secondly, how the implications of economic, political and demographic processes of territorial constriction or forced mobility in colonial age is still manifested in the ways which different actors based in this region update their conceptions of ethnicity. Finally, how national and transnational contingencies has reframed ethnic identities, producing tensions related to the interaction, weakness or prominence of each of these populational groups facing the postcolonial State.

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