Music & Ritual: Bridging Material & Living Cultures

Publications of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology, Vol. 1

Ethnoarchaeomusicology: Social Reproduction, Music (Sound Production) and Ideology in the Rituals of Alutiiq and Yup’ik Societies

Jesús Salius Gumà

In this work, Ethnoarchaeomusicology is proposed as an alternative methodological approach to studies centred wholly on discoveries of musical instruments in archaeological contexts of conventional musical archaeology. Ethnoarchaeomusicology will be used to study the role of sound production in historical hunter-gatherer-fisher societies where a wider evidential framework for musical and ceremonial behaviour can be established. Alaskan Alutiiq and Yup’ik societies are examples of human adaptation to an extreme environment and also of the application of strategies to control social and biological reproduction. These strategies were implemented through ceremonies and rituals involving sound production. An effective system for the control of social reproduction permits a society to overcome and adapt to how both favourable and adverse conditions may affect it.

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