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From Laṅkā Eastwards; The Rāmāyaṇa in the Literature

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Book Series: Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde ISBN: 9789067183840 9789004253766 Year: Volume: 247 Pages: XIV, 259 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_399317 Language: English
Publisher: Brill
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2012-04-11 23:18:40
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Abstract

The Kakawin Ramayana, arguably the oldest Old Javanese epic text in Indic metres (circa 9th century AD), holds a unique position in the literary heritage of Indonesia. The poem has retained a remarkable vitality through the centuries in the Archipelago, inspiring many forms of artistic expression not only in the domain of literature but also in the visual and performing arts, from the reliefs of the majestic Central Javanese temples to modern puppet-show performances. Displaying a virtuoso array of metrical patterns, the Kakawin Ramayana is among the very few Old Javanese texts for which a specific Sanskrit prototype has been identified, namely the difficult poem Bhattikavya (circa 7th century AD), itself a version of the great Ramayana epic ascribed to Valmiki (circa 6th–1st century BC). The Old Javanese poem is an original and skillful work of re-elaboration that documents a fascinating interaction between cultural elements of the Sanskritic tradition with those indigenous to the Javanese setting. The studies included in this volume, written by experts in a wide range of disciplines, focus on disparate aspects of the Kakawin Ramayana and the constellation of cultural phenomena revolving around it, providing the reader with a key to the understanding of the rich Old Javanese textual heritage and the transcultural intellectual dynamics that contributed to shaping the cultural heritage of Indonesia up to the present. With contributions from Andrea Acri, Helen Creese, Arlo Griffiths, Thomas Hunter, Roy Jordaan, Lydia Kieven, Cecelia Levin, Wesley Michel, Stuart Robson and Adrian Vickers, this book is the result of a workshop held at the KITLV branch in Jakarta on May 26th–28th 2009 and supported by the Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration, the École française d’Extrême-Orient, and the Stichting J. Gonda Fonds.

Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands

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ISBN: 9781921862212 Year: Pages: 330 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459753 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Sociology --- Music
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:25
License: ANU Press

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Abstract

The genres of sung tales that are the subject of this volume are one of the most striking aspects of the cultural scene in the Papua New Guinea Highlands. Composed and performed by specialist bards, they are a highly valued art form. From a comparative viewpoint they are remarkable both for their scale and complexity, and for the range of variation that is found among regional genres and individual styles. Though their existence has previously been noted by researchers working in the Highlands, and some recordings made of them, most of these genres have not been studied in detail until quite recently, mainly because of the challenging range of disciplinary expertise that is required—in anthropology, linguistics, and ethnomusicology. This volume presents a set of interrelated studies by researchers in all of those fields, and by a Papua New Guinea Highlander who has assisted with the research based on his lifelong familiarity with one of the regional genres. The studies presented here (all of them previously unpublished and written especially for this volume) are of groundbreaking significance not only for specialists in Melanesia or the Pacific, but also for readers with a more general interest in comparative poetics, mythology, musicology, or verbal art.

Keywords

papua new guinea --- music --- ethnology --- songs --- epic poetry

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