Chapter

Mimesis

Anne Storch

in Secret Manipulations

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199768974
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199768974.003.0004
Mimesis

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Here, spirit languages are presented that contribute to perfect imitations and mimetic interpretations of foreigners, dominant groups, etc., by their speakers. Mimesis is also an interesting strategy in invented secret language in nineteenth-century colonial Africa and in Baroque sources on African narrative art and music. Here, the mimetic interpretation of the Other enables the speaker to overcome social boundaries and achieve agency, albeit in a different manner than by using secrecy as a means of gaining power. This may also include strong exclusionist tendencies, where the Other, by mimetic interpretation, for example, is characterized as having a socially marginalized, underdog position.

Keywords: mimesis; silence; spirit possession; Bantu; Yehve cult; Caribbean; Kromanti; Jamaica; Creole; Maroon; Bamun; Baroque; Villancico; ideophone

Chapter.  20773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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