From Music To Language: A Bayaka Perspective

Evening class

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Jerome Lewis

From Music To Language: A Bayaka Perspective

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 18:45

An exploration of the many connections between music and language. Jerome is a leading figure in the field of language evolution, and one of the very few to base his thinking on his experiences living with a contemporary hunter-gatherer population. Drawing on many years of fieldwork with the Bayaka people of the Congo Basin, he shows how women's polyphonic singing, designed to keep dangerous predators at bay, forms one part of the explanation for human vocal skills, while another is the Bayaka hunter's skill in imitating animal cries.

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Evening class information

Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

Australian Aboriginal Myths Of The Origins Of Fire
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

Across Australia, Aboriginal myths say that during the Dreamtime, women held fire in their vaginas, hiding their firesticks whenever a man approached. The myths go on to say that one day, a male hero stole fire from women and handed it over to men. In this workshop, a number of different versions of the myth will be analyzed using the techniques developed by the founder of structural anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss. We will explore whether such myths help us to reconstruct changes in gender relations across Australia in the distant past.