Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Dema-Music of the Marind Anim: The Verschueren Collection, 1962

Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Dema-Music of the Marind Anim: The Verschueren Collection, 1962

Article excerpt

AUSTRALIA AND OCEANIA

Dema-Music of the Marina Anim: The Verschueren Collection, 1962. 2008. Anthology of Music from West Papua, 2. PAN Records RMP 4018. Compiled and annotated by Fred Gales and Rein Spoorman. 19 pp. of notes in English. 11 b/w photographs, 2 illustrations, 2 maps. 3-item bibliography. I compact disc, 42 tracks (71:27). Recorded in 1933 and 1962.

Little is known about the traditional music of West Papua outside of West Papua itself. Considering the current political situation, described honestly (if somewhat mildly) in the cover blurb as one of "negligence and repression of the West Papuan cultures by the Indonesian government since 1962," historical recordings such as this play a crucial role in informing an outsider's understanding of this music.

The second CD in a series on West Papuan music from the Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands, Dema-Music of the Marind Anim consists mostly of a collection of recordings from that fateful year of 1962 made by Father Jan Verschueren, a missionary with the Marind Anim people of the south coast of West Papua from 1931 to 1970. These recordings (very clear and resonant in this release) are the only existing recordings of a very important but now defunct cultural practice known as Dema. …

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