Tropical Cowboys

Tropical Cowboys : Westerns, Violence, and Masculinity in Kinshasa

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During the 1950s and 60s in the Congo city of Kinshasa, there emerged young urban male gangs known as "Bills" or "Yankees." Modeling themselves on the images of the iconic American cowboy from Hollywood film, the "Bills" sought to negotiate lives lived under oppressive economic, social, and political conditions. They developed their own style, subculture, and slang and as Ch. Didier Gondola shows, engaged in a quest for manhood through bodybuilding, marijuana, violent sexual behavior, and other transgressive acts. Gondola argues that this street culture became a backdrop for Congo-Zaire's emergence as an independent nation and continues to exert powerful influence on the country's urban youth culture more

Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22.86mm | 517g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 21 b&w illus., 2 maps, 2 tables
  • 0253020662
  • 9780253020666

Review quote

"Aligns social banditry with popular cultural formations and subcultures. This has been a longstanding feature of Didier Gondola's scholarship that is of great interest." -Peter J. Bloom, University of California, Santa Barbara "An innovative and original study that sheds light on masculinity, youth culture, performative violence, and the circuit of global imagery in the townships of Kinshasa." -Stephan F. Miescher, author of Making Men in Ghana and Modernization as Spectacle in Africashow more

About Ch. Didier Gondola

Ch. Didier Gondola is Chair of the History Department and Professor of African History at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. He is editor (with Peter J. Bloom and Charles Tshimanga) of Frenchness and the African Diaspora: Identity and Uprising in Contemporary France (IUP).show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments IntroductionPart I. Falling Men1. "Big Men"2. A Colonial Cronos3. Missionary InterventionsPart II. Man Up!4. Tropical Cowboys5. Performing Masculinities6. Protectors and PredatorsPart III. Metamorphoses7. Pere Buffalo8. AvatarsGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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