yusi yese yari no neya neyana nia - the cassowary of Yusi Yese, I do not eat it
August 14, 2011 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands is a free download (PDF, Online and epub) from Australian National University E Press. To accompany the illustrated book are some mp3 format audio files. [via]
posted by unliteral (3 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Something so primordial in those sung tales, deeply compelling. Preliterate humans passed down their oral tradition in memorized stories, sung.

What an interesting and thought stimulating post. Thanks unliteral.

Huh, your post prompted me to google why that need seems so hard-wired in humans. We humans crave stories, narrative in every form, in books, movies, plays, spoken, written. Interesting that craving. We need narrative; it is our system of making sense of the world. Turns out narrative–unlike mere communication–is essentially a compression of social information, which in other words means that narrative overwhelmingly focuses our attention on “strategic information.”

It's so cool this need is taking shape, in that ancient community audience way, now via The Moth.

Other sung stories come to mind: Manas, 300 years of the history of the Kirgiz people in northwest China |Gregorian chant | Kechak, Bali (The Monkey Chant is a Balinese musical dramatization of the ancient Hindu story of Rama) | Hawaiian Kumulipo, Creation story | Tibetan sung version of the history of King Gesar.
posted by nickyskye at 5:31 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

This looks amazing, unilateral. I'll be reading and listening for awhile.

Thank you.
posted by nangar at 6:39 PM on August 14, 2011

Damn. I wish fourcheesemac hadn't disabled. He'd be perfect to help parse this 342 page piece of interesting.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2011

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