Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 1

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

Cantos de Venado: New Insights into Mexican Indigenous Performance and Composition Practices

Helena Simonett

Based on an analysis of deer song lyrics and years of fieldwork among the Yoreme (Mayo) people of north-western Mexico, this paper questions the kind of widespread and internalized Western rationalizing about the deer songs (cantos de venado) and, more generally, indigenous song past and present. Rather than “poems,” the songs may be better conceived of as “songworks,” a term suggested by Tomlinson (The Singing of the New World, 2007) to refer to the place and efficacy of song, the sense of world embodied in song, and the cosmogonic powers of singing. This paper yields new insights into indigenous cognitive arrangements and conceptual systems based on contemporary indigenous performance and composition practices.

Basado en un análisis de los cantos de venado y años de trabajo de campo entre los yoreme (mayo) en el noroeste de México, este ensayo cuestiona el ampliamente aceptado y arraigado pensamiento occidental acerca de los cantos de venado y, en general, los cantos indígenas del pasado y del presente. Más que “poemas”, hay que entender los cantos como “songworks”, un término sugerido por Tomlinson (The Singing of the New World, 2007) para referirse al lugar y la eficacia del canto, el sentido del mundo plasmado en el canto, y los poderes cosmogónicos de cantar. Este ensayo proporciona nuevos conocimientos sobre disposiciones cognitivas y sistemas conceptuales indígenas basados en sus prácticas musicales.

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