Coming out of the stone: dangerous heritage and the death of the Twinhox band

Gillespie, Kirsty, and Bainton, Nicholas A. (2012) Coming out of the stone: dangerous heritage and the death of the Twinhox band. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 44. pp. 71-86.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


[Extract] In this article we consider Lihirian reflections surrounding the music recorded by Twinhox on their first and only album and the untimely death of the Wol brothers. We shall examine key songs from this album and other closely related songs, analysing them for their textual content, revealing their origins and context in Lihir cultural life and, in particular, their location within the physical landscape. We show how these songs have been interpreted in multiple ways, mainly due to the oblique nature of the lyrics but also due to the recent social and cultural changes associated with large-scale resource development. In doing so we draw attention to the manner in which meaning may be brought to a song rather than necessarily being inherent in the text, melodic, or rhythmic structure. Our aim is to highlight Lihirian songs as a form of "dangerous heritage" (Kingston 2007), whereby certain types of vocal music which reference the spiritual power and efficacy of the landscape are considered vessels of latent danger. In examining song in terms of "dangerous heritage," we highlight the cultural continuity found in Lihirian ancestral music and the fundamental importance of the landscape in Lihirian notions of cultural heritage. We argue that traditional song texts and references to aspects of ancestral life in contemporary music settings remain powerful and efficacious as a result of the continuing reassertion of relationships with the landscape that are premised upon traditional ontologies.

Item ID: 47879
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0740-1558
Keywords: folksongs, oral history, cultural preservation, clans, brothers, popular songs, song lyrics, villages, children, boats
Funders: Lihir Gold Limited, The University of Queensland (UQ)
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 05:45
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%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page