Work and Play – a Fluidity of Sounds

Work and Play – a Fluidity of SoundsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.Ambience, sago gatheringWe’re in the rainforest of Papua, New Guinea, near a remote village which is the home of the Bosavi people. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Feld: “This is early in the morning. We’re with a family. They’ve left the village. They’ve gone off into the forest, and they’re going to process sago today. Sago is staple starch of the Bosavi people, and many forest people in Papua, New Guinea. The sago tree is a palm tree. The tree is split. The pulp is scraped, and then it’s beaten, and then it’s made into a gelatinous kind of cake.”Steve Feld is director of the Center for Folklore and Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas in Austin. Feld: “While women are working on scraping the pulp, they are also nursing their babies, playing with their other children, teasing their dogs by inviting them with lip-smacking sounds, giving them a little bit of sago, and then chasing them off.” “When you listen to these sounds, you get a sense of the fluidity of interaction in the society: the way work and play mix together very easily; interacting with children; playing with dogs; listening to the forest, streams roaring in the background. All of these things are integrated in a deep sense, and sound gives us an instantaneous snapshot of that.”Singing, Bosavi womenThis archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Work and Play - a Fluidity of Sounds

An audio snapshot of the daily life of the Bosavi people of Papua New Guinea. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration. Steven Feld is currently Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Air Date:06/05/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Work and Play - a Fluidity of SoundsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.Ambience, sago gatheringWe're in the rainforest of Papua, New Guinea, near a remote village which is the home of the Bosavi people. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Feld: "This is early in the morning. We're with a family. They've left the village. They've gone off into the forest, and they're going to process sago today. Sago is staple starch of the Bosavi people, and many forest people in Papua, New Guinea. The sago tree is a palm tree. The tree is split. The pulp is scraped, and then it's beaten, and then it's made into a gelatinous kind of cake."Steve Feld is director of the Center for Folklore and Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas in Austin. Feld: "While women are working on scraping the pulp, they are also nursing their babies, playing with their other children, teasing their dogs by inviting them with lip-smacking sounds, giving them a little bit of sago, and then chasing them off." "When you listen to these sounds, you get a sense of the fluidity of interaction in the society: the way work and play mix together very easily; interacting with children; playing with dogs; listening to the forest, streams roaring in the background. All of these things are integrated in a deep sense, and sound gives us an instantaneous snapshot of that."Singing, Bosavi womenThis archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.