Laip senis: music and encounter in a Papua New Guinean community

Gillespie, Kirsty (2007) Laip senis: music and encounter in a Papua New Guinean community. In: Moyle, Richard, (ed.) Oceanic music encounters: The print resource and the human resource: Essays in honour of Mervyn McLean. Research in anthropology and linguistics (7). University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 69-80.

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I open with a Christian song, popular in the Duna community of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. This song declares that laip senis, meaning 'life change' in Tok Pisin, one of the country's lingua francae, keeps coming for both boys and girls, as a result of God's word that comes down like rain, neve rdrying up. Laip senis exists alongside such Tok Pisin terms as tanim bel 'turn the belly' (i.e., convert), used throughout the country by missions in their efforts to convert Papua New Guineans to a Christian way of life. Here, however, the term - and the song - takes on an even deeper resonance when one considers the dramatic life change experienced by the Duna people since the1930s. So, what has changed for the Duna? How are they expressing this life change musically? In this paper I endeavour to answer these questions first by examining the history of both the colonial and the missionary encounter in Dun a country in and around Lake Kopiago, focusing on the kinds of musical influences of these encounters. The second section examines how the Duna have merged these introduced musical influences together in order to sing contemporary songs about their current life experience. I conclude with some brief notes locating this kind of musical syncretism, appropriation and indigenisation in the discourse of ethnomusicology.

Item ID: 47862
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 9780958368667
Keywords: ethnomusicology, Oceania
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 00:15
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 60%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 50%
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