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Mah Meri onstage : negotiating national policies, tourism and modernization in Kampung Sungai Bumbun, Carey Island, Malaysia

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Item Summary

Title:Mah Meri onstage : negotiating national policies, tourism and modernization in Kampung Sungai Bumbun, Carey Island, Malaysia
Authors:Chan, Clare Suet Ching
Keywords:Mah Meri
Kampung Sungai Bumbun
Carey Island
Date Issued:Dec 2010
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract:Malaysia's transformation from a colony to an independent modern nation-state has implications for its indigenous minorities. Examining three eras, the early 1900s, late 1900s, and early 2000s, I explore the internal and external variables shaping the construction of the Main Jo'oh, the central Mah Meri music and dance tradition. While its historical development shows continuity and change, I focus on ways in which the Mah Meri currently construct the Main Jo'oh in response to national policies, tourism, and modernization.
The Mah Meri reinventions of their performing traditions seek to recapture a past, reclaim a place, and perpetuate an identity shaped by their former ecological niche and communal society, which have experienced rapid transformation in the last few decades. The musical constructions of place and people are composed in various ways. First, the Mah Meri appropriate old cultural practices or symbols and give them new meanings. Second, they combine ideas from various generations of the opoh (extended family), including the memories of the mengge (elders), the nostalgia of the adults, and the imaginations of the young into new compositions. In challenging hegemony, the Mah Meri reconnect the past and present, resulting in a colorful inter-generational pastiche.
Propelled onto the national stage to promote government and tourism agendas, the Mah Meri experience the forces of various power structures that seek to reshape performances for their own ends. While the Mah Meri accommodate these hegemonies by complying, negotiating, or resisting through their performing traditions, they remain clear in their own aspirations, engineering their performances toward an assertion and affirmation of Mah Meri identity.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Music

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