Luando | Axiluanda

Following the principle of the derivation of bantu languages, the prefix “lu” is applied in words that describe flooded regions, such as islands, arms and river basins, etc. Thus comes the word luando, which, because it refers to an island, a female word, mixed with portuguese language, gave the current "Luanda", a word obtained through the agglutination of lu + (nd) ando, where "ando" comes from "ndandu " meaning commodities, traded object, values, etc., relating to products taken from the island, such as fish or small whelks (cauris) caught there, usually known as njimbo or zimbo and were the currency of the Kingdom of Kongo.

The island would be named Luando because it was a place of commerce situated on a sandy beach.

Another version states that the name derives from "Axiluandas" (sea men), a name supposedly given by the Portuguese to the inhabitants of the island, because when they arrived there and asked what they were doing, they would have answered uwanda, a word that in Kimbundu means "working with fishing nets". 

This performance for video was made in the recent rubble of the Chicala Neighborhood with the collaboration of the Angolan  Contemporary Dance company.

Due economical and capitalist power and interests, Chicala inhabitants were forced to leave. This “procession” aims to evoke the culture and people of the region, originally from the island, who lived mainly from the sea and from fishing and since 2013 are being forced to abandon them houses and move away to a new built centrality in the interior region of Luanda's province.  

The female figure wears a Mwana Pwo mask evoking the power and beauty of the woman.
This piece intents to be a tribute to these millenary cultural expressions so rich and important for understanding Angola's identity.

 © RitaGT

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