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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 1, 2010

Dzi’i-Ba’a and the Semiotic Junction of Marriage in the Mekuk Tribe

Jean-Claude Mbarga
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


This paper highlights the Mekuk tribe's Dzi'i-Ba'a as a sign of theatralization of marriage, as the obvious proof of the semiotic junction, that is to say, the vectorial relation uniting the subject with the valuable object; man with woman. Dzi'i-Ba'a is a genuine Bantou tradition in which social ceremony and theatrical spectacle are identical. It stresses the traditional process of a man's search for the woman, strengthening a certain supremacy of the man. According to the nature of marriage, the artifices of selection underline the importance of the communicative axis Transmitter-Object- Receiver, as in Greimas' actantial diagram. These relations evidence the polemic still in force about the woman's status, and underline also the will to perpetuate the values of the social group and the entirety of social strategies, the purpose of which is to consolidate the domination of man over woman, or of a clan, or a tribe, over others.

Published Online: 2010-9-1
Published in Print: 2010-9-1

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