Music and language in Duna 'pikono'

Gillispie, Kirsty, and San Roque, Lila (2011) Music and language in Duna 'pikono'. In: Rumsey, Alan, and Niles, Don, (eds.) Sung tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands: Studies in form, meaning, and sociocultural context. ANU Press, Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp. 49-63.

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[Extract] The relationship between music and language has been a topic of scholarship for many years, across the academic world. In the Duna “sung story” genre of pikono, systems of music and language are interdependent and it is this relationship that our chapter explores. In keeping with the topic of this volume, our discussion only relates to pikono that is sung. Sung pikono is considered by the Duna to be the height of the craft, and this is the mode of delivery for male performances. Women also create pikono, however the performance context and their delivery of pikono is much different. Men typically sing pikono to groups of men in men’s houses at night (see Kendoli, this volume). Women, on the other hand, tell (rather than sing) pikono to other women or to children, often in their homes, as reported by Modjeska (1977:332). We have found that often the pikono told by women feature sections of sung text that most commonly illustrate a musical event of some kind, such as a courting song or a lament, which occurs within the story. Predominantly, however, women’s pikono are in spoken form, and as such will not be discussed here.1We focus on men’s sung performance of pikono, but in particular we examine a performance of pikono by one man, Kiale Yokona, whom we met in March 2005 at Hirane parish2in the Kopiago area, where we were both conducting our doctoral research. Kiale arrived from the neighbouring parish of Mbara, and word quickly spread that he would be telling a pikono at the Hirane men’s house that night. We dropped by the men’s house briefly and, conforming to the gender rules governing the space, arranged for him to perform for us the next evening in another location.

Item ID: 47814
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-921862-21-2
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 05:45
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 40%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology @ 30%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2003 Language Studies > 200320 Pacific Languages @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage @ 100%
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