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Title:To Impersonate the Supernatural: Music and Ceremony of the Bella Bella/Heiltsuk Indians of British Columbia
Author(s):Kolstee, Anton Frederik
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The two-part thesis of this study is: (1) that the Bella Bella or Heiltsuk Indians of British Columbia were the most significant musical and ceremonial group on the Northwest Coast during the nineteenth century, and (2) that there are strong relationships between Heiltsuk musical patterning and other systems of relationships in Heiltsuk culture. The study is organized into four main parts: The Ethnomusicological and Historical Background, The Song Types and their Contexts, The Structure of Heiltsuk Music, and Conclusions and Appendices.
Propositions that flow from the thesis include the suggestion that the Bella Bella-Rivers Inlet area, taken as a whole, was the center of development of the winter dancing society complex. In this connection, the hamaca complex's origin and subsequent diffusion from this center of development is conceived of as a shamanistic response to destructive change. It is also suggested that the ceremonial song repertoire of the Heiltsuk may be understood as a multi-movement musical work and that four-part organization is deeply enfolded in the musical style and culture.
The study is based on fieldwork conducted in Bella Bella, from September 1978 to March 1979, in June 1983, and in April 1984. Concerned to a great extent with reconstructing Heiltsuk music, the study is the first to describe the musical style of the Bella Bella/Heiltsuk nation.
Issue Date:1988
Description:454 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823174
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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