Like Liked by 3 people. That is beautiful, Ro. Thank you for your encouragement!
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Like Liked by 2 people. I love the deep diving into the complex world and I am grateful that it stems from your journey. I believe this year I am making wild leaps in my journey with my higher self. I am afraid how much things seem clearer, I am scared at how much I can intuit, I am afraid of losing control — this i believe is very familiar, I am apprehensive of losing connections with others. The world seems to take back seat when you focus on what moves you the most. A lot of Hindu philosophy is based on oneness of knowledge and mind. We believe that all souls are knowledgeable and one in the collective wisdom.
It does resonate well. Of course, Hindu philosophy has also been diluted by racist, classist, patriarchal views in last few centuries. The core talks about oneness. Thank you for sharing some of your fears with us, Antarmukhi. And some of your joy and Hindu philosophy. Like Liked by 1 person. OK, I admit I made up the last quote up. Not those great ideas mind you, but how much people actually believe in them.
That can make them angry, fearful or even vindictive. I really was a wild child. I lived those principles embodied in quotes that people share like recipes. Now that I am middle-aged, I still am pretty wild…which makes me even more of an outlier. But while being wild can help you succeed, it can also put you at risk because — to borrow a Japanese phrase — the nail that sticks out must be hammered down, and if you are also very sensitive the hammer may very well succeed. I have felt the heavy blows of the hammer many times, so I feel lucky to still be here, my head still sticking up if just a bit.
I was chased out of sports despite my extraordinary talents, intensity and passion because being good is not enough. In sports one must also be compliant and obedient to authority no matter how illegitimate or unreasonable it may be. So I retreated to the seemingly free world of art only to find that rules and conformity and aggressive peer pressure to be nearly as prevalent there as it was in sports. So I now work alone trying to create a world of my own imagining free from the restraints of others, a world that welcomes and encourages and embraces other misfits desperate to express their own wildness.
None of this is intended to be an admission of defeat nor an attempt to dodge the responsibilities of fixing a life that was ruined in many ways by people who think it is justified to treat us wildlings as if we are inhuman please excuse the Game of Thrones references.
But blame must be placed where it belongs, because no matter how much faith or hope you put in the future, I believe it is hard to solve a problem without first assessing and acknowledging its roots. I am working hard to reclaim my rightful status as a wildling. I am coughing, coughing, coughing…. I wrote my comments last night as quickly as I could to try to short-circuit my habit of self-censorship. I had no idea what it meant I kept those thoughts a secret to myself , and I even tried to put them out of my mind through my youth and early adulthood but it was always lurking there and came back very strong when I was around Perhaps to better understand?
To have more empathy? To then share those experiences and shine a light on the damage it does not only to those who are suffering most but to everyone? Like Liked by 4 people.
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Thank you, because I put my thoughts out there even though I know they may not be very well received. That was a turning point in my life. The anti-psychotics caused me to gain 60 pounds in just a few months, and I had to get my blood tested once per week to ensure the anti-psychotics were not at levels high enough to lethally poison me. I am simply not motivated by the same things most other people are. But most of the time I struggle to feel awake and alert, almost always feeling smothered and stifled by the rules, routines and repetitiveness of modern society.
I have a really hard time getting into any of it. I only wish he had not been so quick to drug me up as a knee-jerk response to his lack of understanding and was instead looking for the POSITIVE aspects of my personality. Thank you, Mark.
You echo so much of what I have been feeling lately. Omg, there is so much holding back, even more than in the corporate world, believe it or not. BTW after investigating the link to the author of the leading quote, I hope I am not barging in on a conversation meant for women. I grew up in the punk rock scene when being part of that scene could get you beat up or worse. It was hard enough for most of us guys so I imagine it was even harder for the girls who were really pushing gender expectations even the hippies expected women to be peaceful and loving.
It was radical to walk through the doors of the shady halls or bars where the bands were playing to see women being as uninhibited as the guys, or to see them up on stage being as fierce and fearless. It motivated them to pick up a guitar rather than be a chanteuse. It allowed us to be aggressive. No formal vocal training, and yet from the very beginning her voice had the power to emotionally move people, which one must assume is an instinctual ability.
She IS wild, a person who defies and transcends current culture, and yet whose voice — untrained as it is — reaches a deep primal place in the listener. Learning how to move away from people who require me to be small, and who will try to cut metaphorical bits off me to keep me small enough for their comfort. Thanks, Nimue. I think I have found my door. For me that isnt a problem, but people around me seem to be more attached to my status as doctor then I am.
So yes I am scared, and worried, and saving like mad. But even worse, I am fighting the expectations of everybody around me. They want and expect me to stay a doctor and do my job and not rock the boat. And all I want is to go swimming. What a great metaphor! Thanks for the inspiration, EwaB! This the realm my mind often resides. Explaining how I think seems to overwhelm the average person in the average conversation — so I often hold back. I let the energy flow, and we both shine. Maybe I should look for signs every day. Look for signs every day.
Thanks for sharing! My mother is pretty wild herself, and then my father died suddenly when I was seven, and well — yeah. Speaking of my mother, I am definitely her child. What do you think is beyond the universe? I can tell such a difference with this new community. I can let the hypervigilance go a bit, and that feels really good. I feel so much lighter without the weight of those years of trauma on my back. And also I am trying to use what I learned in the Sims community.
I know more about humans now, and I have better boundaries and I know a bit more about how to be diplomatic. And people can always skip the comments, if they need to. So, your thoughts are welcome! Do you think it is common for gifted individuals to feel that there is something inside of them that makes them different or distinct from other people? It can be hard to find companionship because of the advanced abilities and sensitivities and the other things I write about here in my blog. There are real differences. And the greater the degree of giftedness, the bigger the difference.
I feel so confused—I know not my own self! Thanks for answering my question, Paula. I truly appreciate it! Is this possible? Isaac Newton [average or subpar at grammar school], Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill [he failed sixth grade], etc. You just may have to admit that you belong in the tribe! Its very sad to know we are all sparks of the divine with a special purpose of being here… to simply be ourselves and see that so often our culture encourages us to be something other.
The wild self can be seen as too unciviilised which is also so sad. I just devoured Pinkola Estes book when I read it back in She made so many important points in that book….. I loved her book Women Who Run with the Wolves and read it years ago, too. Thank you for sharing and for being here. Here is a letter — a work in progress — describing the culture at the dharma organization I work for I have changed the names to protect confidentiality. I have gotten in trouble for speaking up and making suggestions. The intended audience are my direct supervisor and his co-lineage holder.
It has generated several discussions. And that acting out on neurosis was normal and to be expected for people who are at the Hinayana or Mahayana level of the journey. Because our offices include people who are not even in our lineage, I question whether the sign is appropriate to display when it is so easily misunderstood.
As an at-will employer, displaying a sign about expected behavior in the office can end up putting a chill on the work environment, especially if that sign can be interpreted in many ways. It is an internal state that is ultimately only known by the one experiencing it. It seems pretty clear that we have a culture of holding back, not only at the office, but also in the sangha in general. However, the sign is so easily interpreted as an admonition to hold back, that I think it tilts the scale in the wrong direction for a culture that already holds back so much.
Finally, it fails to be inclusive. When admonitions such as this convey whether they mean to or not a lack of tolerance for direct honesty or conflict, it sends the message to those people that their culture is wrong. Ironically, for people in both of these categories, insecurity about whether who they are is welcome often produces an anxiety that makes their sharing come out shakier or more neurotic-seeming than it really is. For most of us in these categories, we are already holding back so much, but what is witnessed are the moments where we either slip up or decide that the cost of holding back is too high.
We are adapting or mal-adapting to a culture that sees our natural way of relating to be inherently wrong. Not everyone feels safe or welcome in a culture of holding back. Some men and women are at their sago places making food. Other families are off to weed their gardens and to gather vegetables and firewood. Some men have gone to the bush to fell trees for a communal garden. Bird, insect, and waterway sounds are everywhere. As people work, they sing along and respond to what they hear around them.
Ulahi alternates whistling and singing to a background of bird calls while she and her family make sago; Fo:fo: and Miseme take a break and sing a bird voice at their sago place heard in full on track 4 ; men cut trees and whoop to harness energy for the tough work heard in full on track 8 ; Ulahi greets the afternoon cicadas with a song full of cicada sound imitations heard in full on track 5 - By late afternoon people are walking back to the village along forest paths.
Their arrival is greeted by a rain storm.
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Leisurely play in the house follows as food is prepared. As rains and winds 50 51 subside, there is a flurry of bird sounds before the dusk starts to close in. Softly and slowly the crickets and early night frogs appear, creating a throbbing sound. This track is a re-edition of Voices in the Forest, a soundscape documentary originally produced in by Scott Sinkler with me for National Public Radio.
In the story a boy and his older sister go together to gather crayfish. The girl catches a few but her brother is unsuccessful, so he begins to beg some from her. She refuses, and he feels dejected. Then he catches a shrimp and puts the shell over his nose, turning it red. His hands become wings, and he begins to cry in the voice of the Beautiful Fruitdove muni, Ptilinopus pulchel- lus. As he cries out, the sister pleads for him to come and now share her crayfish. But only his cries continue, like the voice of a fruitdove.
As he repeats the falsetto melody with four descend- ing tones, the boy-bird adds plaintive words about his sense of loss. Weeping plus poetry turns into song. At Bosavi funerals women performed wept laments that used the fruitdove melody articu- lated in this myth.
They also improvised texts filled with names of the places where they worked, traveled, and lived together with the deceased. Lament poetry also remembered the acts and sit- uations whose sharing gave everyday meaning to their relationship. While distinctly personal tes- taments, these laments evoked poignant experiences and social memories common to all Bosavi people.
Examples of group, duet, and solo varieties of funerary weeping sa-ja:lab open Disc III tracks I, 2, and 3. These sounds indicate what was once self-evident in Bosavi, namely, that song poetry originated in the crying voice and in the evocation of bird sound. The role birds assumed as mediators of sound and sentiment was profound here. More than transparent avian presences whose everyday sounds were clocks and tuning forks of the natural world, birds were simultane- ously heard as spirits, the "gone reflections" one mama of Bosavi dead who had passed on to the treetops. It was as a bird that one reappeared after death, and it was like a bird that one became through the most visceral and stirring sound of the human voice.
While still performed in some Bosavi villages, the practice of funerary weeping has dimin- ished greatly since the mids. Partly this is a response to government demands for quick burials. Partly, too, it is a response to evangelical Christian intolerance of the ritual; the expatriate missionaries specifically discouraged crying, insisting it was an expression of moral weakness. Additionally, both government and mission impacts promoted male power in Bosavi. With this 54 came greater attempts to control the social criticism women typically voiced in their funerary weeping, particularly their anger about social vulnerability and their veiled accusations about sorcery.
The song born of the mythic weeping that turned a boy into a bird reached its most dramatic form in ceremonies performed by Bosavi men. There were five varieties of these ceremonies, but Bosavi people maintain that they only originated one, named gisalo. Of the four lesser ceremonies, one called heyalo originated near the Lake Campbell area southwest of Mt.
Bosavi; it was quite popular in the s. Another, called ko:luba, came from the southeast of Mt. Bosavi and was first performed in the central Bosavi area in It shared the same costume type as the group ceremonial drumming called ilib kuwo:. This kind of drumming preceded an all-night ko:luba, heyalo, or gisalo ceremony. The two least elaborate ceremonies were iwo:, which originated southwest of Mt. Bosavi, and sabio, which originated east of the Kikori River.
Brought by early government patrol carriers from the Lake Kutubu area, sabio was typical- ly performed by youths and young men as a late afternoon prelude to major ceremonies. Gisalo songs were also sung at night for spirit medium seances track 4 ; this practice ceased by the end of the s. Brief ren- ditions of gisalo are now performed in Bosavi only on September 16th, for the annual Papua New Guinea Independence Day celebration.
The last heyalo ceremony in Bosavi took place in ; subsequently no ceremonial record- ing of the style is presented here, only the informal performances of the songs heard on Disc II. The style is still quite popular with a segment of the population over age forty, and is most typi- cally heard as a form of work song in gardens or at sago creeks. I witnessed and recorded all-night ko:luba ceremonies in tracks 7 through 10 and in Since then the ceremony has been staged on just a few occasions, with fragments occasion- ally performed for Independence Day, typically preceded by a prelude of drumming ilib kuwo: track 6.
Everyday varieties of ko:luba can also be heard on Disc I; they are still sung for work and leisure by the same older generation that equally enjoys heyalo. These were only sung the night before pigs were to be killed. This ceremony was last performed in , as was sabio tracks 17 and 18 , whose duo or quartet songs were typically sung as a prelude to other cer- emonies.
As a fixed sequence of songs whose texts were unintelligible to Bosavi people, sabio were never locally composed, and thus disappeared as quickly as iwo:. The gisalo, heyalo, and ko-. The songs were composed and performed by a group of guests for their hosts, meant to make them so sentimental as to be moved to tears. This was largely accomplished by the performance of poetic songs. The texts named forest lands, waters, and trees, and the sounds of special poetic words evoked their sensuous qualities.
What Bosavi listeners would hear inside and underneath these turned-over-words provoked them to thoughts about loss and abandonment. This moved them to tears, and, using the same fruitdove melodic con- tour as laments, provoked wept echoes of the song in progress.
Song, in the end, turned into weeping just as forcefully as weeping turned into song. Such an arresting and confirming response was most typical of gisalo and heyalo because their poetic paths of named places were intimately familiar to members of the immediate audience. Less moving were ko:luba songs, because many of their paths contained unfamiliar and faraway place names from south and east of Mt. Only when composers substituted local places and imagery in these songs did their performances gain a greater affecting power.
Funerary sung-weeping group October 4. Some close friends and relatives were seated around the body, others moved about in shock, and all wept forcefully, the sound filling the house and sur- rounding area for the following two hours. The least controlled wailing borders on shrieks but occasionally becomes a full falsetto version of the fruitdove cry the descending melody contour D-C-A-G.
Some men were so choked up that they quivered in place, wailing forcefully until others helped them gain some composure. The more plaintive and controlled wailing you hear is the type that is both melodic and texted: this was performed by the women who were closely relat- ed to Sa:na:so and who were seated around his body. The short exhortatory texts register the complete disbelief of the moment: "Wake up, you never slept like this before! Still others noted now he was going off to the treetops to join his brother Sialo.
In the sequence heard here, Gania and Famu each begin with their own personal lament, one weeping to her bridewealth relation na:su and the other to her father aya or dowo. Other women are also seated around the body, and another one hundred people filled the house, accounting for the ambient level of surround- sound. Two styles of multi -voiced weeping can be heard.
Staggered entrances and completely over- lapped voices characterize the first. Following that, one hears a more paced delivery, with the two 57 weepers alternating whole phrases, only overlapping at the beginning and end of their lines. Funerary sung-weeping by Hane Hane improvised a long sung-weeping lament to her cross-cousin Bibiali shortly after the previous track. This example typifies the most poetically elaborate and song-like variety of Bosavi weeping.
Although Hane is shedding tears and choked up throughout, her melodic and rhythmic consistency, phrase patterns, and poetic cohesion all indicate remarkable control. The textual images chain together, moving over a path of some fifty places Hane and Bibiali had shared in life. Seance gisalo song by Aiba with weeping While principally composed for and performed at the ceremony of the same name, gisalo songs were also sung during spirit medium seances. These were held in total darkness. A medi- um, lying on his back, was surrounded by an audience who chorused the songs and then verbally interacted with the spirit who sang them.
Throughout the seance the medium would leave his body to roam an invisible realm, a reflection of the visible world. Spirits of the dead and of forest places came up through his mouth to converse with the audience. In between these conversations, the spirits about to emerge or depart sang a gisalo song through the medium. Outside the frame of performance, mediums always claimed that they neither composed nor performed these songs.
They considered themselves only as vocal conduits for the spirits who came up on them. They frequently acted surprised or much bemused to hear playback of the seance songs they had just "sung.
The distant effect of the soft voice is no doubt enhanced by the rain pounding on the thatch roof of the longhouse, enveloping the attention and anticipation of the audience seated in the darkness. The opening lines identify the singer as a bird, an Ornate Fruitdove iya. As the chorus joins, the spirit voice grows stronger and increasingly yearning.
The text unfolds as an intricate path map linking places in the vicinity of Kokonesi longhouse. The sequence of named places moved Neono to tears when he realized the emergent spirit voice to be Dubo, his deceased son. His weeping continues throughout the last part of the song and past its finish, interlocking with the singing voice of the spirit, the voices of the overlapping chorus members, and the pulse of the rattle.
Bosavi people replace personal names with reciprocal food names to mark the special rela- tionship that originates in sharing foods, particularly local delicacies. Use of these terms in song and lament is particularly compelling. Prominent in the sound of this gisalo song is the shell rattle sob , an instrument specific to the accompaniment of this song genre.
The rattle consists of about thirty mussel shells strung together and suspended from a string. The string coils at the top around a piece of pencil-thin etched bamboo. In ceremonial gisalo performance, the singer-dancer holds this bamboo handle in his down- 58 59 stretched hand, close to his side. The shells suspend from the handle, reaching down to the floor just next to his ankle. As the dancer bobs up and down with arms held tight to his side, the rattle lightly lifts up and down, continuously brushing the floor and creating a jingle-jangle pulse.
When gisalo songs were sung at spirit medium seances, the medium also used the mussel-shell rattle. Lying on his back in the darkness, he held the instrument at his side, tapping it on the house floor. As the song progresses, the rattle sound gets louder, con- tributing to the hypnotic and mesmerizing quality of the overall performance. Ceremonial gisalo performance by Halawa From a theatrical as well as poetic point of view, gisalo was the most elaborate of the cere- monies once staged in Bosavi.
From dusk until dawn, members of a guest community would stage the singing and dancing for a host longhouse. Such events solidified relations between the two communities, celebrating marriages, food distributions, and other formal exchanges and alliances. The aesthetic appeal of gisalo was connected to its dramatic qualities, including its staging, costume, song, and dance.
In the rear, palm streamers arched up and over from his shoulders to his heels. The up and down motion of his dance, from the balls of the feet with slightly flexed knees, was sonically and visually enunciated both by the lilting costume and by the mussel-shell rattle. The performer was transformed into a bird dancing in place at a forest waterfall. This image was both aesthetic and primordial. Because birds were seen and heard as spirits of the dead, their motions and sounds once evoked powerful feelings for Bosavi people.
The form of the gisalo ceremony was elaborate. Once the evening turned dark, four dancers entered the longhouse and positioned themselves two at the rear and two at the front. Behind them, also at each end of the house, sat a chorus of men. Alternately from each end of the house, a lone dancer would stand and perform a newly composed song. Dancing in place, he would sing the first portion of each song alone. There, fac- ing the chorus, and again dancing in place, he would sing the concluding section of the song, its "branches. Gisalo songs always brought forth strong memories and emotions.
When overcome with sad- ness, members of the host audience burst into tears and loud mournful wails that musically over- lapped and merged with the song. This repayment for the pain of the song would often set off a burst of mass whooping from the crowd, accompanied by stamping feet and snapping bow strings. The dancer continued with total composure, seemingly unaffected by the crying and burning. But from that moment he would bear the shoulder scars that reminded all that his performance had moved another to tears.
But Bosavi women also participated in gisalo ceremonies, by performing weeping in response to the songs and staging a 61 welcoming dance called sosamaya to mark the arrival of the dancers outside of the host longhouse. Additionally, women orchestrated much of the host-guest interaction, by supervising the cook- ing and extensive distribution of ceremonial foods before, during, and after the ceremony. Th egisalo song heard here was performed by Halawa, shortly after 3 a. The recording was made from a loft high in the center of the sixty-foot longhouse corridor; as a result there is an enhanced stereo effect, with the song per- formed either to the right or left side, and the motion of the dancer down the corridor between the trunk and branches sections.
Group ceremonial drumming, ilib kuwo: Hand drums, called hundu in Tok Pisin and known locally in Bosavi as ilib, were played by cos- tumed dancers as a late afternoon and early evening prelude to all-night ceremonies. Usually two to six drummers participated in the performance, called ilibkuwo:.
Each performer tuned and drummed while dancing in place with an up and down step. Initially positioned at either end of the longhouse, the drummers then traversed the long central corridor while dancing and playing. Whether alone, in groups of two, or criss-crossing with a drummer or two from the other end of the corridor, the resultant throbbing sound was overwhelming, and definitely got the audience in the mood for the approaching ceremony.
Sometimes drumming also moved listeners to tears, and led an audience member to burn either the shoulder of the drummer, the side of his instrument, or both, in retaliation. The drum is con- sidered the voice of the Papuan Bellbird tibodai , Pitohui cristatus. In the reflection world the tibodai bird is the spirit of a dead child.
When Bosavi listeners hear the bird voice pulsing tibo tibo through the drum, they might also hear a child calling dowo dowo, "father, father. For both the koduba ceremony and for ilib kuwo: drumming, dancers wear a costume that fea- 62 tures a crayfish-claw rattle degegado in the rear of their dance belts. The term degegado derives from dege, the sound of crayfish claws, and gado, the word for the cordyline leaves that are regu- larly used for the back of the dance costume.
The rattle consists of a pliable piece of cane arched out from an erect post; dried crayfish claws are attached to the end in a bundle, with as many as fifty pieces strung together. The crayfish claws jangle together to directly mark the pulse of the dancer s up and down motion. The crisp and punctual sound of the rattles overlaps the thick but continuous pulsing of the drums.
The interlocking density of costume, rattle, and drum sound creates the desired aesthetic effect, a "lift-up-over sounding. But in honor of the presentation of the Bosavi dictionary on January I, , thirteen men in full ilib kuwo: regalia drummed in the Bolekini village courtyard for almost twelve continuous hours! They were accompanied for part of the time by two women who escorted them with the cheering and greeting sosamaya dance. This recording was made on that afternoon. Songs and sounds of the ko:luba ceremony Koduba songs and the ceremony of that name were introduced into the central Bosavi area in the mids by a man named Arsiya: from the longhouse community of Wahaleb.
His repertoire consisted of about one hundred songs, of which twenty-five were his own compo- sitions. Arsiya: taught three kinds of koduba songs: duo dance songs dasidan , heard on tracks 7, 8, and 9; refrain songs, tai , heard on track 9; and processional songs gulufofi hanan , heard on track IO. The koduba ceremony as taught by A:siya: was performed by eight to twelve costumed dancers. In groups of two they alternated singing throughout the night.
They sang first at the rear end of the longhouse, where the whole group was seated. Next they sang in the middle section, then at the front end, then again at the middle, and then back at the rear end. Singers faced each other as they sang, bobbing up and down in place, and sometimes hold- 63 ing hands. In between rounds of the song, a skipping step would take the dancers from one house position to the next. Songs per- formed in this way were the major component of the ceremony, and as many as ninety might be performed between dusk and dawn.
At select times another type of song would simultaneously take place. Called tai and sung by the ensemble of seated performers, these would begin once a pair of dancers had finished their first round of a song and had moved off to the center of the house to sing it a second time. A fixed corpus of six songs, each tai is but a one-line phrase with a similar melodic pattern. To begin and close the ceremony, and to add to the drama about every ten or more songs, a processional called gulufofi hanan took place.
Two dancers would begin, and after they had sung their song through, the remaining dancers would rise and quickly join them, parading from one end of the house to the other, singing with overlapping voices. The strutting motion of the pro- cession brought the audience to their feet, whooping and cheering along and snapping bow strings. It was a cheer of encouragement, but also taunted the dancers by its vocal imitation of the aroused call of the Riflebird uwo:lo , Ptiloris magnificus , for whom it is named.
The first song track 7 is sung by A:siya: and Go:bo:. The place names are all from faraway Tulom, south of Mt. Bosavi, and the language is unintelligible to almost all Bosavi listeners. The second song track 8 is also sung by A:siya: and Go:bo:. Its text goes: "A long time ago I went there. The third song was sung by Amini and Mei; portions of it can also be heard in an informal version as men work to clear a garden on Disc I track i.
After singing it the first time through, the dancers stomp off to the middle of the house; the remaining seated performers then sing a tai simultaneously with the next performance. The tai is sung several times, and its text names leaves and sounds of water sprinkling down them at the places indicated by the first word of each line. The fourth and final song was sung first by Amini and Gaso, and then joined by Arsiya:, Go :bo : , Agale, Ilailo:, Weinabe, Hawi, and Mei, as they all danced around the house in proces- sional style, to the exuberant whoops and cheers of the onlookers.
Loud uwo: cheering from the women can be heard as the men pass by them. Songs and sounds of the iwo: ceremony Iwo: is the set of forty-five songs sung the night before a large pig kill. The ceremony had not been performed for ten years when I first arrived in Bosavi. After a time, friends suggested that I consult Ganigi, an elder man of the Nageba:da:n longhouse community, about the songs. He was said to be among the few alive who knew the entire corpus and proper sequence in which they should be sung.
By that time severely crippled and unable to walk, Ganigi was enthusiastically car- ried by relatives to Sululeb, where I was living. Over several days he taught the songs to me and a local group of men so that all forty-five songs could be recorded, transcribed, and permanently available. The songs presented here are numbers three, ten, twenty-two, and twenty-five in the overall sequence of the forty-five, chosen to represent the major musical and textual features of the style.
Seated at the far end of the house and surrounded by a small chorus of Fagenabo, Da:ina, Kulu, and Hawi, Ganigi starts each song by singing the main phrase solo. He is then quickly joined by the overlapping voices of his chorus, and together they repeat the two- or three-line textual for- mulae of the song. The seated chorus members accompany instrumentally by shaking seed-pod rattles sologa , crayfish-claw rattles degegado , and tapping axe handles on the house floor. After the first lines are stated, another man, Ba:seyo, joins from the other end of the long- house. Swinging a large club nage , he hits the floor at the house entrance and then comes danc- ing down the center corridor toward the area where the singer and chorus sit.
He bounces up and down with the club and for each song shouts out the name of a different land or waterway. All of these place names are far north or south of Mt. Ganigi told us that each song should go on in this way for a considerable time, until the leader cues closure with a loud wo:-i!! In order to instruct the chorus and record the entire corpus in a single day, Ganigi suggested short ver- sions of each song. This one tells how the pigs are placed on a butchering rack iwo : togo- batililama:. The name shouted by the nage is Dibiya, a waterway.
The second song track 12 illustrates another textual pattern indicating names of lands and waters where pigs live eba go:dolowa. The shout is Walina, another waterway. The third song track 13 illustrates another melody and text type, recounting the crossing of rivers oniyaba suwo. The shout is Kodega, a waterway far to the north near Mt. Sisa, the north- ern edge of the known world for Bosavi people. The fourth song track The text here utilizes tree and leaf names and poetic words indicating the sounds of the pigs stepping on the leaves in the mud guge gugeyo:.
The shout is Sowaya, a faraway land near Yamili. In the eastern and central Bosavi area the song formula women sang was called kelekeliyoba. Place names and pig names were newly inserted in the formula by each new song leader. The rest of the women chorused with a staggered lift-up-over repeat, accompa- nying with the seed-pod rattle and slight swaying motion in place. The word kelekeliyoba represents sounds of pigs in the mud near sago places.
The song text asks: "Are you at? These questions alternate with kele kele, an imitation of pig sounds, as well as other words indicating the sounds of pigs eating sago shavings. These nostalgic songs were sung at a slow pace. They were highly evocative of the affectionate bonds between women and their pigs and sago places. This song track 15 was led by Ulahi; the lift-up-over chorusing voices are Ea, Gania, and Gisa.
In these songs there are no place names, only pig names inserted into the repeat- ing formula. Counting feet songs all begin with a repeated phrase, ye wo:, which is a signal that pigs are on the loose. The next line names a pig and says that its feet are running fast. With each successive turn, the pig name changed. The pacing of these songs varies, and the singers indicat- ed that this imitates the way some pigs run faster than others.
This song track 16 was led by Ea with a lift-up-over chorus of Ulahi, Gania, and Gisa. Duet and quartet of sabio songs Sabio originated some twenty-five miles east of Bosavi. The songs were taught to Bosavi men by carriers who came in the s on patrols that originated from the colonial government post at Lake Kutubu. The men who served as carriers or police for the colonial government were Foi from around Lake Kutubu and Fasu fro m the area east of the Hegigio or Kikori river, in between the Bosavi and Kutubu groups.
The Bosavi men memorized the songs, and a duo, quar- tet, or sextet of young men would sing them in the late afternoon or early evening as a prelude to a major all-night ceremony. In the s I found that only those with long-standing family ties to the eastern Bosavi areas knew any sabio songs. One elder, Kiliya:, whose ties to the area where the songs come from were significant, taught the songs to his sons Wano and Gaso, who brought several of them into the central Bosavi area in the s. Wano and Gaso occasionally sang as a duet track 17 and taught songs to other clan Bona men, here Gigio and their much younger brother Sowelo, with whom they sang as a quartet track In both the duet and quartet versions the singers face each other and alternate lines while bobbing up and down in place and softly shaking the seed-pod rattle sologa.
Each phrase is marked by a pair of overlapping voices coming together in a long intoned , often with a marked crescendo and decrescendo pattern. The songs are demanding from a performance point of view both because of their pace and high vocal register. Neither Wano nor Gaso could identi- fy the texts or their meanings.
One starting point is European contact with the Great Papuan Plateau. This later patrol made the first contact with the Bosavi people; the previous one had passed through the lands of the Onabasulu to the north. In the following few years the colonial patrol officers used their power to end fighting and pacify the area. In the s a government station was opened at Komo, two days' walk to the north. More regular police patrols followed, and among their effects was the consolidation of Bosavi people into about twenty long- house communities.
The colonial government insisted on rest houses in each community, as well as maintenance of outhouses, regulation burial of the dead, severe punishment for incidents of inter-village fighting, and appointment of a local headman in each community. In This was the first continuous contact with an outside force, and it was a signal event in Bosavi history.
One of the missionaries prepared a first description of the Bosavi language, while the other supervised construction of a sixteen-hundred-foot-long bush airstrip at a place called Waiyu. When the missionaries recruited laborers to clear the forest there, a group of Bosavi men was, coincidentally, in the midst of holding a secret initiation near- by.
Fearing that their autonomy and particularly their ritual secrets were now substantially threat- ened, the Bosavi male elders and initiates abandoned the initiation lodge to work on the airstrip. With this the institution of male initiation ended forever in Bosavi.
Despite sporadic and temporary migration of young men for labor schemes following con- struction of the airstrip, Bosavi remained distant from the colonial state through the rest of the s. The lack of local roads, of capital infrastructure, of government presence, and of development initiatives all kept Bosavi as physi- cally remote and economically marginal to the new nation as it had previously been to the colony. During that period one still encountered much in the way of local political and economic autonomy, egalitarianism among adult males, and complementary gender roles in Bosavi.
Extensive bonds of friendship, obligation, hospitality, and reciprocity were clearly the major fac- tors in the organization of domestic life, local work, ceremonial activities, hunting and garden- ing, and bridewealth transactions. Certainly there was little of the "big man" pattern of social organization or the varieties of antagonism between women and men then much written about for the Papua New Guinea highlands. When the resident Australian missionar- ies arrived, they immediately expressed hostility to local rituals.
Confident that the forest was filled with satanic spirits, they hardly bothered to learn any of the local cosmology. Bosavi people were openly berated about the evil imagined to live in their environment, their hearts, and their minds. The message was unequivocal: either renounce traditional ways and prepare for the sec- ond coming of Jesus Christ, or face the impending hell fire. The message intensified when the expatriate missionaries imported Huli evangelical pastors from the highlands to the north to aid in spreading the gospel.
In addition to a particularly zealous style of preaching, the Huli pastors easily intimidated their Bosavi neighbors, to whom they felt both culturally and morally superi- or. In all these ways, evangelical Christianity initiated a local regime of fear, much remembered today for the guilt and confusion it instilled. Two uncanny accidents led many Bosavi people to believe that the missionaries held a mys- tically powerful key to the depths of their language and culture.
The first of these was the identi- 68 69 cal initial sound of the Bosavi word for sorcerer, se, and the ubiquitous new mission word, Satan. The second was that a traditional Bosavi story about the world ending in fire resonated clearly with the mission story of hell fire and apocalyptic destruction. Coincidences like these led Bosavi peo- ple to willingly take mission dogma quite seriously, despite considerable confusion over the meaning of the Bible stories. In addition to holding Bosavi people as a captive audience for evangelization, the mission- aries also wielded considerable specific powers.
These included control of air traffic in and out of the region, and control over access to education, work, and virtually all forms of information, development, and social benefit. Policing what missionaries were doing in remote parts of the country was a low national priority, despite widespread reports of cultural destruction. Indeed, it seemed that the new national government was grateful to missionaries in remote areas for maintaining local airstrips and managing clinics and schools. Consequently, the con- tinued lack of government presence in Bosavi meant that evangelical rhetoric and mission policy was naturalized as de facto law.
Indeed, in the s and well into the s many Bosavi people assumed that any message from the mission represented the exact desires of the Papua New Guinea national government as well. Of course the mission was also concerned with good works. It introduced a clinic at the airstrip and provided substantial health care. But with this came forms of bodily surveillance and punishment, for example refusal of aid to those who transgressed mission policies against smok- ing tobacco or dancing in ceremonies. A similar pattern developed with the mission school, which also introduced substantial benefit.
Nonetheless, demands that students spend long periods away from their home community undermined parental authority and disrupted family relations. Additionally, students were indoctrinated and channeled into mission-related work, and rarely rewarded or challenged in any independent areas of educational skill. Opportunities disproportionately went to those who excelled in Bible classes. The missionaries placed these students in regional Bible schools for a period of one or two years. When they returned to Bosavi, they became village pastors. With this 70 position came considerable local power and influence, not to mention new access to resources, wealth, and deference.
The dramatic repent or burn message so relentlessly preached by the missionaries and their local pastors chilled somewhat by the mid- to late s. This was due to government pres- ence in Bosavi, particularly the building of a more centrally located airstrip, school, and aid post that remained outside of mission control.
Missionary authority diminished as well when explo- ration for oil. With those developments Bosavi people realized that evangelical Christianity might not be the only route to social change, advantage, or opportunity. But, in time, explorations came to reveal that there was no gold, oil, or gas to exploit on Bosavi land. For this reason, in the late s and early s Bosavi people became captivated by the oil project in the Lake Kutubu area to the northeast and by the clear-cut logging project south of Mt. Occasional infusions of cash and material wealth followed sporadic patterns of migration by young Bosavi men to work on these projects.
Both the material changes and the stories that came back to Bosavi fanned the fires of local desire, and led to broader bases of con- flict around real, perceived, and possible inequities. As outside companies then tried to gain access to the Bosavi forests for industrial logging, attention became fixated on debates about the meaning of development.
Local politicians emerged, and some were quickly enlisted to work for the logging concerns. Non-governmental organizations also became involved.
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