From agricultural tool to identity symbol: Musical and socio-political change in the pestle-and-mortar music of the Natuna Archipelago, Indonesia

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    Abstract

    For centuries the Islanders in remote Bunguran played pestle-andmortar
    music with cosmological associations to lighten the chore of stamping
    husks off rice grain. Different villages developed their own musical syntax,
    terminology, and repertoire to play at domestic celebrations. Discovery of
    natural gas in the 1960s led to weakened communal life, while the subsequent
    stamping of corn and seeds instead of rice required less group energy for
    music-making and new secular associations. In 2004 Natuna Regency chose the
    pestle-and-mortar music as a Malay identity emblem which will help it survive,
    with domestic participatory performances continuing alongside presentational
    performances for government, corporate and tourist audiences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-114
    Number of pages28
    JournalEthnomusicology
    Volume61
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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