Academic journal article Notes

Oh, Lovely Parrot!: Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala

Academic journal article Notes

Oh, Lovely Parrot!: Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala

Article excerpt

Oh, Lovely Parrot!: Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala. Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem AMTI 0403, n.d.

In both geographical and cultural terms, the state of Kerala (on the southwest coast of India) must be considered one of the more remote outposts of the Jewish diaspora. Exiled Jews began settling in the city of Cochin on the Malabar coast as long ago as 700 B.C.E., and successive waves of Jewish immigration continued to arrive for centuries thereafter; the pattern was reversed after the establishment of the state of Israel, at which point many of Kerala's Jews emigrated. More than two thousand years of Jewish occupancy resulted in a number of rich and enduring cultural traditions in the area, however, a small sampling of which is offered on this richly annotated collection of women's songs. The album's title comes from the "parrot songs" that comprised a whole subcategory of songs known to the women of this region--songs designed to coax a parrot to one's window. Most of them, however, deal with less whimsical topics: a large number are wedding songs, while others are based on Bible stories or are meant to accompany dancing. …

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