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Merry Christmas Huay Nam Khao : domesticating foreign Christmas music in a Sgaw Karen village in northern Thailand

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Item Summary

Title: Merry Christmas Huay Nam Khao : domesticating foreign Christmas music in a Sgaw Karen village in northern Thailand
Authors: Fairfield, Benjamin Stuart
Keywords: Karen
Issue Date: May 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
Abstract: Many scholars who have examined the Karen people, a highland minority along the border of Burma and Thailand, have given special attention to the place of Christianity within their history. Sometimes problematized, sometimes celebrated, the Karen negotiation with Christianity and other foreign powers remains a contested ground that deserves further investigation and analyses. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, this is an ethnomusicological study of Karen Christian music and its role in articulating Karen notions of tradition, identity, and worldviews. Similar to all forms of expressive culture, music is a medium that constitutes social reality and notions of self and community. This thesis draws insights from Thai historian's Thongchai Winichakul's theories of mediating technologies to examine the music and context in which Karen actors create and perform Christian music in Huay Nam Khao village during the annual Christmas celebration. By privileging Karen agency, I argue that this Karen community actively and creatively adopts and domesticates western musical and religious idioms for the purposes of solidifying, preserving, and reshaping the spatial and social imaginings of the immediate local village and an indigenous and Christian Karen ethnic destiny.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Music

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