The Ye'kwana Cosmosonics: a Musical Ethnography of a North-Amazon People

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2020-05-05
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Musikwissenschaft
Advisor: Mendívil, Júlio (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2020-02-03
DDC Classifikation: 300 - Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
780 - Music
Keywords: Musikanthropologie , Amazonas
Other Keywords:
Ye'kwana people
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The Ye’kwana are a Carib people of indigenous speech whose current population is estimated to be around 7,000 people distributed in villages that are located in Venezuela and Brazil. In Brazil, they are a total of around 520 people distributed in three communities located at the Yanomami Indigenous Territory (TIY, in Portuguese), in the state of Roraima. In 1912, the researcher Theodor Koch-Grünberg visited several Ye’kwana villages, when he made ethnographic and phonographic records of inaugural importance to ethnology and comparative musicology. Precisely one hundred years later, I began my field research on the reception of recordings of chants and musical instruments from Koch-Grünberg’s collection stored at the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv and Museum, as well as on the Ye’kwana sonorities produced nowadays. Understanding hearing as a privileged sense regarding the access to knowledge and using different acoustic codes, the Ye’kwana build their lived world on a relationship with nature that is different from what has been conventionally called “music” in the west. To reflect on the relationships between sounds, cosmology, and society, I use in this dissertation the concept of cosmosonics, that seeks to point to the main elements of the Ye’kwana vocal-sound arts, understood in this work as a “reverse ethnomusicology” of this Carib people.

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