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Onduko Yange Ame…

Project details

Bachelor – Transformation Design
Social Practices
Cultural Diversity

Onduko yove helie?
What is your name?

Onduko yange ame Olgelica
My name is Olgelica

Named after her two aunts, Olga and Angelica. Gely often questioned whether her name meant something about her identity. Why did her parents decide to change her name to Gely, and if her original name Olgelica was a traditional Angolan name that held a specific meaning in an Angolan language?

“Names are an important key to what a society values,”
– David S. Slawson, Anthropologist

Onduko Yange Ame… means ‘My Name Is..’ in Umbundu. This project explores the significance of names inspired by traditional Angolan naming practices, examining how names underwent changes during the colonial era, influenced by simplification and Christianisation.

Colonialism has had a big impact on personal name identities, revealing challenges in pronunciation and a lack of recognition. This highlights the integral role names play in our identity, and the disconnection that occurs when our bodies aren’t recognised in relation to our names.

Onduko Yange Ame… became an installation created from red fabric with traditional names printed on them. Within this installation is a book made from fabric with additional information on the importance of names and how they are shaped in Western societies.

This research looks into the intricate ways names are shaped through disciplines such as onomastics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and cultural diversity. Hoping for more traditional names to resurface in Western societies, challenging the effects of colonialism.