Monday, June 4, 2007

22. More Examples

I'd like to present several examples, from various parts of the world, of what I've been calling "Shouted Hocket" (style family A1 on my Phylogenetic Tree), 1. for comparison with one another; 2. for comparison with Merker's and de Waal's descriptions of Bonobo chorusing, as quoted in the previous post; and 3. for comparison with the video clips of Siamang vocalizing I linked to in that post.

Before I do, however, I want to make clear that it is NOT my intention to denigrate the traditions of any of these people by sugguesting that their music can be equated with the vocalizations of apes or gibbons. Most of their singing, in fact, sounds quite different from the brief excerpts I'm quoting here, which in any case resemble certain primate vocalizations only in terms of the structural principles I outlined in my previous post, involving the use of hocketed vocal interplay and a more or less "hooted" voice quality, sometimes close to yodel.

Let's begin with a repeat of a clip I've already presented, in section 13, from the Aka Pygmies (as recorded by Simha Arom in his Aka Anthology), the Esime section (shouted interlude) of a Mokondi ceremony. Compare with shouted hocket from people in a completely different part of the world, the Bisorio of highland New Guinea. (From the CD "Spirit of Melanesia.") Here are some more examples from the New Guinea highlands, first from the Dani, then the Huli.

Next, an example from South America, from the Mehinacu of Brazil. (From Saydisc, "Disappearing World.") Now back to Africa, the Island of Madagascar, where the Mikea hunter/gatherers are thought by some to be the original inhabitants of that island. (From the Ocora CD, "Madagascar, Pays Mikea.")

A very intesting and intricate hocketed vocal interchange, sometimes called "throat singing" can be found among many Siberian groups, where it is associated with shamanic traditions and also the Inuit, where it is currently regarded as a game.
Here is an example from the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia. And here's a link to a website with a video of Inuit throat singing.

Compare with this shamanic ritual from the Ainu of Hokkaido in Japan. And something rather similar, from the Hupa, a native American tribe of Northern California (from Lee Productions).

Now back to Africa once again, for a brief excerpt from an all night Tcoqma initiation ceremony among the Ju'hoansi Bushmen, as recorded by Emmanuelle Olivier. To my ears there are some truly remarkable similarites between this Bushmen ritual and the now familiar Ketjak or "Monkey Chant," of Bali. (From the Nonesuch Explorer set.)

I'll withhold further comment on any of the above until my next post.

1 comment:

Peter N. Jones said...


These are some great posts. I really enjoyed your series of five parts on the Kalahari Bushmen. I did a post on your blog today - really great stuff here. Keep it up, I really enjoyed listening to the MP3s and reading this thoughtful argument.