Group identity, individual creativity, and symbolic generation in a BaKongo diaspora

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This article applies theories of group dynamics and individual agency to past material expressions of core symbols within particular African American religious beliefs. The past creation and use of such artifacts is analyzed using theories concerning modes of symbolic expression, the interplay of dominant and nondominant religions, formation and maintenance of social group identities, and the role of individual creativity and innovation within those processes. This analysis demonstrates the ways in which facets of the core symbolic expressions of the BaKongo people of West Central Africa evolved over time and across the trans-Atlantic region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • BaKongo diaspora
  • Group identities
  • Stylistic innovation
  • Symbolic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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