par de Maret, Pierre
Référence Cognitive Archaeology: Mind, Ethnography, and the Past in South Africa and Beyond, Taylor and Francis, page (224-246)
Publication Publié, 2019-11
Partie d'ouvrage collectif
Résumé : An uninterrupted archaeological sequence connects the first iron-using occupants of the Upemba Depression, in the center of Africa, to the current Luba. It is thus possible to reconstruct the evolution of the inhabitants of this area over nearly 1, 300 years. In the series of transformations that they have undergone, the continuity of many aspects of their material culture is remarkable, despite the changes that occurred. This provides a sound basis for using the numerous ethnographic data that we have for the Luba to interpret the wealth of archaeological remains, especially for the Kisalian, a culture that started in the eighth century ad. For example, the use of ceremonial axes as a symbol of authority and the use of the hammer/anvil as regalia date to this period. In funerary contexts, children’s remains are often under-represented, but this is not the case in Kisalian cemeteries. It means that newborns were probably considered as embodied persons, which is still the case for the Luba. The widespread use of various miniature objects as grave goods can best be understood in the light of the Luba practice of making miniature objects for their children and the spirits. The intriguing presence of unworked caprine or antelope metapodial bones, principally in Kisalian children’s graves, can also be explained through ethnographic parallels.