«Maché an Mas-la!» Ethnographie de l’usage symbolique du corps «charnel» dans le carnaval guadeloupéen

In Guadeloupe culture, walking matches particular shapes by becoming a symbolical vehicle of identity claiming through the transformations of bodies in artistic and sport performances, the déboulés, organized throughout the carnival period, springing up where they are not expected, in an impressive uproar, on larèl é on lespwi. The Boula stresses the steps which stomp the ground. The body turns into an instrument which abides by topics whose symbolism is shared amongst the members in accordance with fundamental elements: lakou- la, mizik a Senjan, Gwo-ka. Once transformed, materialized as a means of expression, the body becomes ideology. However big, thin, tall, or small, the men, women and children are, their bodies suffer altogether in a collective effort, surpass themselves in a unitary territory conquest, a common identity (re)-construction. Through an ethnographic lens—by following the steps of those “anonymous” bodies—we want to decipher the singular expression of bodies materializing a renewed collective identity claiming, by and through corporal use.