The poetics of the flute: fading imagery in a Sepik society

Telban, Borut (2014) The poetics of the flute: fading imagery in a Sepik society. Folklore, 125 (1). 6. pp. 92-112.

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Male initiation rituals used to be of central importance for the Sepik River societies of Papua New Guinea. Among the Karawari-speaking Ambonwari they were characterized by two idiosyncratic song-dances: one associated with the spirit-crocodiles and the other with the bamboo flutes. Hence, the songs of the flute and crocodile were the most secret songs known only to a small number of 'big men'. Since the Catholic charismatic movement entered the village at the end of 1994, all previously important rituals were slowly abandoned and so were the song-dances of the crocodile and flute. By analysing various transpositions of meanings in the song of the flute one can detect vanishing cultural values and fading social relationships that these verses were meant to sustain.

Item ID: 32670
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-8315
Funders: Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Art, Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 02:15
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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