Mamiwata, Migrations, and Miscegenation: Transculturation in José Eduardo Agualusa, Mia Couto, and Germano Almeida

  • Niyi Afolabi University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: Lusophone Africa, novel, identities, colonialism, Lusotropicalism, water


This study forges a tryptic partnership between the notions of Mamiwata, migrations, and miscegenation to examine selected works by Mia Couto, José Eduardo Agualusa, and Germano Almeida. Considering miscegenation as the point of convergence for the legacy of Portuguese colonialism, the three writers share the varied responses of their respective nation to cultural contact with Portugal. The intersection between transculturation and miscegenation evokes the negotiation of a new identity where the colonized supersedes the dominating effects of colonialism. The fluidity of the sea and the image of the water spirit thus converge into a phenomenon of shifting, migratory identities.

Author Biography

Niyi Afolabi, University of Texas at Austin
Niyi Afolabi teaches Luso-Brazilian, Yoruba, and African Diaspora Studies in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Golden Cage: Regeneration in Lusophone African Literature and Culture, Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy, and editor of The Afro-Brazilian Mind and Marvels of the African World, among others.