Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rhythm and Women's Song

From the lullaby sung at the spinning wheel to a whole group of women gathered at the stream to wash clothes, there are myriad traditions in which women have accomplished their work by setting it to a tune or rhythm.

Here are women in Scotland communally singing their way through their work of waulking the wool.
For the Seto community living in south-eastern Estonia and the Pechory district of the Russian Federation, the tradition of ''leelo,'' an ancient polyphonic singing tradition, is a cornerstone of contemporary identity. Performed to traditional melodies and in traditional costume, leelo features a lead singer who delivers a verse line followed by a choir that joins in for the final syllables and then repeats the whole line.
And here is a group of the Ainu women, indigenous to Japan, performing a type of song called upopo. For "upopo", women sit in a circle and sing to the rhythm created by beating the lids of "shintoko" (hokai).

This is Laima Jansone sounding the trees.
A short documetary from 1960 about the dying tradition of Swedish "locksånger" ("attracting songs"). As in the famous "Vardlokkur" ("spirit attracting song") mentioned in the sagas. Here you will also see some of the instruments used.

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