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The Ecology of the Spoken WordAmazonian Storytelling and Shamanism among the Napo Runa$
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Michael A. Uzendoski and Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036569

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036569.001.0001

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Cosmological Communitas in Contemporary Amazonian Music

Cosmological Communitas in Contemporary Amazonian Music

(p.172) Chapter 8 Cosmological Communitas in Contemporary Amazonian Music
The Ecology of the Spoken Word

Michael A. Uzendoski

Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the modern musical genre Runa Paju, a genre that features clever Quichua lyrics, electronic amplification, and eclectic use of instruments and musical styles. It focuses on the social dynamics of the music and its relationship to Quichua cosmology and mythological thought. It argues that, although Runa Paju is a new, modern genre, it follows the same communicative and social assumptions of storytelling as traditional genres. Runa Paju brings into artistic contour the experiences of life's problems and experiences with a larger narrative of cosmological destiny. By targeting the human soul, Runa Paju musicians must “reverse” many of the superficial or apparent relations of modern life and revert destiny to shared cosmology. The threads of Quichua life become newly interwoven into musical pathways of cosmological communitas, a moment of communitywide experience of the circularity and relatedness of all things.

Keywords:   Runa Paju, musical genre, Quichua music, social dynamics, cosmology, cosmological communitas

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