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Title: "You gotta sing to it!" : music in human-animal relations among Northern Athabascans
Author: Ranspot, Tamara
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 2922
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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Among the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, singing to animals is not an uncommon occurrence. Songs are sung to draw in animals, to evoke their presence, and to thank them. This thesis is an examination of the diverse ways in which music is present in human-animal relations among Northern Athabascan people of Northwest Canada and Alaska. Based on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, conducted primarily with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, this thesis provides a detailed account of the diversity of musical practices that mediate relationships between people and animals, exploring ways in which we may begin to understand these phenomena, which are under-represented in academic literature. I argue that the presence and efficacy of music in human-animal relationships is a continual reinforcement or actualisation of the personhood of animals in Northern Athabascan lifeworlds, and that our understandings of the complex sociality of human-animal relationships are incomplete and much less rich without considering these powerful practices. Through diverse ethnographic examples, this thesis aims to contribute to the fields of environmental anthropology and ethnomusicology by examining this point of ethnographic intersection. I contend that the inclusion of animals as social beings in ethnomusicological inquiries expands the relational approaches of the discipline, but more critically for this thesis, that a consideration of music contributes to current anthropological models of non-human personhood and sociality.
Supervisor: Wishart, Robert P. ; Wachowich, Nancy Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; ERC Arctic Domus ; Jacobs Research Funds ; American Philosophical Society
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Athapascan Indians ; Human-animal relationships