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Musical change in Huobajie : recontextualizing Nuosu Vi identity

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Item Summary

Title: Musical change in Huobajie : recontextualizing Nuosu Vi identity
Authors: Richter, Jonathan Kessler
Keywords: Laoyaoshan
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: The Nuosu Yi people in China's Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces have developed many practices and traditions to express their cultural distinctiveness. For the Yi people Huobajie (Fire Torch Festival) is the most important event to reify the Nuosu collective identity in various regions, but the Chinese state also sees Huobajie as an opportunity to promote the festival as a representation of a unified Chinese nation. Although the People's Republic of China governance officially banned Huobajie during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), more recently Han district officials not only encourage the festival's occurrence, but are also sent to host,judge, and participate in the festival events. This increased attention on the state level has led to increased tension between the Yi and the Han officials, resulting in changes to the music and performance, which in turn have altered the overall structure and meaning of the festival.
In this thesis I examine the musical representation and competition in the Laoyaoshan Nuosu Yi minority group's Huobajie to interpret the ways in which statesponsored development affect the process of change in Nuosu Yi music behavior and conceptualization, as well as their self and collective identity. I argue that the attempt in 2011 to recontextualize Huobajie events implemented by an external force led to the realization amongst the Yi that music and performance is a significant form of power and self-representation, resulting in a cultural awakening and a return to independent sponsorship of Huobajie festivities in 2012. This thesis also emphasizes the importance of documenting the decision-making processes of individuals and groups to help track the changes of music and cultural values within a group.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Music

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