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What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menoizikkul; Midweek Musicalisms

This week's malambo offering adds in the interest of the boleadoras. They are weapons. Lengths of leather at the end of which are either leather-wrapped stones or metal balls. The gauchos use them to hobble cattle, though historically they were actually used as weapons against 'the foe' - whoever that might be on any given day. In the dance, the beating against the ground of the boleadoras adds to the level of percussion produced by the feet ... and the drums. I should mention the drums. The dance has its basis in a time and place when drums would have been about the only instrument - until the Spanish and their guitars arrived. Drumming is very much part of this folk tradition.

16 comments:

  1. Wow, that is cool! I liked that it looked like women were drumming, and the men were dancing (but maybe they were women under those hats)!

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    1. Hari OM
      Most definitely the drums are beaten by women... but the dance is very much for the men (see last week's entry)... though I do believe in small amateur groups now, girls are sometimes allowed to play. Yxx

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  2. that should be the motto of the world... men who dance to the rhythm of da wimmen...yay!!!!

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  3. Wow, impressive! I would have moved back a few metres when the boleadoras swung into action.
    Cheers, Gail (safely back from Orkney, face windswept and sand blasted).

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  4. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that - in part it is cool, but on another level quite comical in its rigid gestures and stiff routines. I say this not critically, but in pondering that we do not have this sort of ceremony in our daily lives any more - we regard it as 'folk' tradition; something 'other' and of the past. So what then will be the traditions which pass down from our age and era and place? What in two hundred years time will be handed down from the Late Twentieth early Twenty First Century? I find it quite hard to say. Can you think what they might be?

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    1. Hari OM
      Firstly - welcome back Mark - missed ya!
      Secondly - I hope you will take a look back at the previous offerings, where a little more info is given each time as to this tradition from Argentina. I haven't gone overboard on discussion of it, as folk can go ogle for themselves; but basically it is an adapted form of dance from the natives of Argentina which the Gauchos used to demonstrate bravado and skill - as well as enterain themselves by the campfires. Originally - demonstrated a bit here - each would have their own style and steps were not formalised. There are two main styles; Southern and Northern, the latter being the most expressive (and loud) and had become the most dominantly performed.

      Anyway; an equivalent here (by this I refer to the Bonny Land - and perhaps, Eire) would be the ceilidh and it is still very much in vogue. There are plenty places where this folk tradition is alive and well and actively taken up. I cannot speak with authority for England or Wales, but in the former there are such things as Morris dancing and other regional variations - but I suppose I take your point, in that they are kept for specific occasions and are not (unless a practitioner having to rehearse, and perhaps even then...) not a daily or at least weekly occurrence.

      This leads to the matter of authenticity - the Celctic traditions are very much handed down through constant engagement but, of course, to a large degree content is driven by the need for an audience and what that audience can bear. Some of the very pure aspects of the traditions may well be lost are getting lost, as music/poetry moves with the times. (I am thinking specifically of Precenting, which has the double whammy of lowering church attendence to deal with.)

      I am actually having a similar discuss this week on fellow blogger's discourses regarding Carnatic music. In India that tradition, as with all Sanskrit matters, there is 'paramparaa' - the lineage of teacher to student passage which is strict and, until recent times, not wavered from. Thus it could be determined that what one heard in concert would have been the same as a thousand years past. Then there arose some argument as to what listeners could bear (or stick around to hear) versus purist rendition (the rise of commercial interest, in other words - plus 'invading influences'...)

      We do not have such a strict tradition to fall upon to ensure continuation of what was - but it could also be argued (again I speak from the Celtic perspective here) that this tradition was always about reflecting life as it is in its time. I know several young proponents who are writing material that still absolutely honours the basic purity of "Scottish Folk Music", the paramparaa, but wholeheartedly reflects current times. Music, in the end is surely a narrative of the culture in which it is engendered.

      Thus, I do see this tradition remaining and thriving in the 23rd century and the instruments upon which it is played. I see the same for that body of music referred to as 'classical' - think all the greats such Bach and Mozart etc; although presentation of those changes fashion, the notes themselves stay in place. Scottish dance and Irish dance will thrive - because, like ballet, they are taken up by nearly every child here for at least a couple of years, ensuring a living interest. I am not sure there is a similar thing in England - or Wales?

      There - another post landed in the remarks section!!! Thanks for that. I hope you have come back to see it... if you would be happy to share your email (via my contacts box see tabs above), then you will get such responses directly to your inbox!!! YAM xx

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    2. I did come back to see it! And yes an interesting post and discussion in itself.
      My sense (and point) is that while there are undoubtedly efforts to keep alive old traditions, I cannot see what new we are creating today that will pass down to future generations in quite the same way. Perhaps it was always like this - and we simply cannot know what will become the folk traditions of teh future.
      In some areas we have definitely lost the language - the medieval symbolism in visual art is almost wholly absent from todays art and is not common knowledge in the population, whereas centuries ago it would have been.
      Dance I know much less about, but what are the folk dances of tomorrow that stem from today? Will they be doing a version of Saturday Night Fever / Disco in the folk clubs of the future? Or punk pogo dancing? Such a notion seems ridiculous to us now - but would it be any less ridiculous than Morris dancing?
      Fascinating to ponder what will be handed down from our era.

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    3. Hari OM
      It's a wonderful discussion... and to some extent, I guess what I was pointing to is that within the Celtic tradition certainly, new work is developing to reflect current mores. There are 'motifs' (equating to the symbolism you mention) that continue even in new works. However, that does require that anyone outside of the culture would need to learn them. Which is probably also true with things like jazz - and the Carnatic music I mentioned earlier.

      As for creating new - your suggestion regarding SNF is not so far-fetched. Think of the iconic dances of each decade since 1900; the Charleston, Jitterbug and Swing, The Twist... and it is possible that SNF might be considered the last of such things, given that modern dance is generally just fling yer arms and twerk yer butt! In the art sphere, there is little motif style since the likes of Mondrian and Picasso - now it does appear anything goes. Part of this is due to the availability of technology and the permission given by society to make of us all potential artists in one form or another. The symbolism and motifs of old hold no value now as they were, essentially, the 'social media' of their time. They are no longer required, beyond simply being pretty in the eye of the beholder or the ear of the listener.

      So to return to the kernel of the question; the traditional 'handing down' is mostly absent except in specific ancient and continuing arts and crafts; any learning - feeding? - of lineage will come from the tubular and tokker and other such... but who is to say this sort of migration has not been happening anyway throughout time. It's just more speedy and widespread. I think it is safe to safe that cultural activity that doesn't move with the times risks becoming dead culture. Yxx

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  5. This one is my favorite so far! I love those drums and they sound just like dancers if you don't look at the video and listen to the drums when there are no dancers it sounds like somebody dancing and then when they add the dancers in it's just absolutely fantastic

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  6. I just came to my giant screen to watch again and wow... they don't have taps on their boots, no sound from the boots, the girls drums are the sounds. this is amazing. love it

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    1. Hari OM
      No - listen carefully, the boots add to the beats also - and then the boleodaros when they use them the second time are also tamping the floor... this is more obvious in previous and upcoming examples; but yes in this one the drums are quite dominant. Yxx

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  7. They certainly are a lively bunch!

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  8. Wow! |The drums really accent the dancing in this video! Yesterday I was watching my neighbor's chickens. She inadvertently ended up with 3 males (2 of the new pullets are males) we were watching the new "guys" trying to get the hens' attention. Kind of reminds me of these dancers...

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  9. They are amazing performers!

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  10. Now that is a lot of calorie burning going on there. Beautiful. namaste, janice xx

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