Friday, 25 January 2013

Papua New Guinea. New Ireland

"New Ireland is a long, narrow island (350km long/10km wide) lying in the Pacific Ocean to the north-east of the island of Papua New Guinea, to which it is administratively attached. Although it's population is only 90,000, the cultural landscape is highly diversified: some forty, mainly Austronesian languages and dialects are spoken, not to mention those imported by the recent immigrants from Papua New Guinea itself. A single word, however, dominates the religious, social and cultural worlds of New Ireland: Malanggan. This refers to the ritual cycles tied to the cult of ancestor worship, funeral ceremonies in the course of which particular chants are heard, and also to polychrome masks sculpted in the round that are famous the world over. Whereas Malanggan sculptures are famous and known to all museums and amateurs of oceanic art, the music of New Ireland is little-known, since available recordings are scarce or inexistant. And yet, as is clear from this CD, the art of music in not behindhand." Recorded in 1974 by Charles Duvelle. Liner Notes included.

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