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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Democratic Republic of Congo (ex Zaire) has been the first research area of the then called Italian Ethnological Mission in Zaire, founded by Francesco Remotti in 1979. The first researches, among the Banande of North Kivu, the Efe pygmies and the Walese of the Ituri forest, focused on kinship, traditional political system and space organization. Since 1993, because of the hard political situation, the research has been enlarged on a geographical scale and to different topics.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and especially the Northern Kivu is still an important area of interest of the Italian Ethnological Mission in Equatorial Africa. Francesco Remotti started his research among the Banande in 1976. After having studied the kinship system, the political structure, the initiation rituals and the “antropopoietic” processes, his research has focused – since 2004 – on the places and politics of death. Within a project entitled “Places of the livings, places of the deaths”, Remotti studied the function of banana plantation in the life and death cycle, the different categories of tombs and their meaning as family, collective and historical memory. At the moment he’s working on a map of the royal vegetable tombs, finalized to the study of Banande peopling.

Luca Jourdan has carried out his research in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ituri and the Kivu, on the anthropology of war and violence. His analysis concerns the local dynamics of the Congo conflict which started in 1996, and especially the role of young people, their experience of war and the phenomenon of children-soldiers.