By R. Anderson Sutton
Calling again the Spirit describes how, within the face of Indonesian and overseas cultural pressures, the Makassarese humans of South Sulawesi are protecting their neighborhood spirit via song and dance. The publication examines the methods performers during this nook of Indonesia search to empower neighborhood tune and dance in a altering atmosphere.
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Extra info for Calling Back the Spirit: Music, Dance, and Cultural Politics in Lowland South Sulawesi
Whether undertaken on behalf of power or on behalf of resistance to power" (Cantwell 1993, 5). When I have written about Javanese gamelan music, for example, I have engaged in an act of representation—"moving" or "translating" the music to the printed page as prose, musical notation, Calling Back the Spirit 14 diagrams, and illustrations. Similarly, a Javanese festival organizer contributes to the process of definition, not only of "Javanese dance" and "Javanese music" but also of "Java" for those who apprehend.
Shaped, as some have said, like an orchid or a starfish, this island is home to an enormous diversity of peoples, speaking more than sixty different languages and dialects (Noorduyn 1991). In the early years of Indonesian Independence the entire island of Sulawesi was administered as one province, but the geography and linguistic variation has minimized a sense of pan-island identity. 11 Nevertheless, the peoples of South Sulawesi, despite some very significant differences, from dance choreography to religious cosmology, have undergone intense interaction over many centuries, share many cultural characteristics, including a common mythical past, and can in certain contexts see themselves as "South Sulawesian"—particularly in relation to the larger national community of Indonesia.
She describes the many dances she was able to witness, together with their musical accompaniment. Though based on observation of one performance per genre, many of them arranged specially for her, this study serves as a canonical historical source for the few local scholars currently writing about performance in South Sulawesi, as it offers greater detail than almost any prior source. Jaap Kunst made short research trips from his home on Java to other islands during the early 1930s in his capacity as the Dutch government musicologist.