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Spirits Of The Forest: Self-Government Through Polyphonic Singing
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 18:45
Ingrid Lewis has spent many years with the Bayaka forest hunter-gatherers of the Congo Basin. In this emotionally powerful practical workshop, she will reveal what she has learned from these people about how to manage social conflict, create harmony and ensure mental and physical well-being, all through polyphonic singing. Everyone can do this. Previous singing experience not required!
Evening talk information
Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.
Next evening class
Ethnographers of Congo Basin hunter-gatherers have emphasised ritual as a levelling mechanism that sustains egalitarianism by strengthening community spirit and mediating power evenly between individuals and subgroups. My talk will discuss how both mythology and ritual are involved in mutual causal interactions with other factors of social life that mark the emergence of inequality among a small community of Baka former hunter-gatherers. An emerging ideology of male predominance in mythology mirrors the same phenomenon in ritual, kinship practices and household economics. I argue that this preoccupation with patriarchal concerns in mythology is one of several strands of evidence pointing to the centrality of gender politics in the emergence of inequality among the Baka.