Two Songs For Red Girl: Music And Language In Eastern Amazonia

Evening talk

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Guilherme Orlandini Heurich

Two Songs For Red Girl: Music And Language In Eastern Amazonia

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 18:45

The Araweté are 500 maize cultivators and hunters that live in Eastern Amazonia in seven villages in the Brazilian State of Pará. They have been in contact with Brazilian government representatives since the late 1970s and most of them currently speak Portuguese. The two songs examined in this talk belong to the “Music of the Gods” poetic genre, although they are quite unique. One of them is a “spirit capturing” song in which the shaman searches the outskirts of the village at night to capture the Anĩ spirits, who are often responsible for deaths amongst the Araweté. What is important, here, is that these two songs – the song that captures spirits and the one that heals lost souls – are connected through the same event. Red Girl, my neighbour who loves listening to recordings of shamanic songs, was pierced by a spirit’s arrow and became gravely ill. The Songs were her relatives' attempt to rescue her from this dire situation.

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Next evening class

Jerome Lewis

‘Woman's Biggest Husband Is The Moon’
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

Jerome has many years experience in the field, working with the Bayaka hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin in Central Africa. This is a ground-breaking study of the central importance to women of the link between their bodies and the Moon. Bayaka men are made aware that even though, as husbands, they may have some sexual expectations, the Moon's own demands come first! Women's solidarity is fundamental to the unusually egalitarian dynamics of Bayaka society.