Every year, in central Burma (Myanmar), crowds of pilgrims, devotees and professional spirit mediums (nat kadaw) gather in the little village of Shweguni, near the town of Pakhan, to celebrate the festival (nat pwe daw) for the local spirit (nat) Min Kyawswa, the drunkard prince – also known as Ko Gyi Kyaw. The sound of the do waing (the music ensemble playing at the main shrine of the spirit) and of several other ensemble marks the ritual activities: the royal showering of the spirit statues (hkyo yay daw thoun), the celebration of a traditional spirit ceremony (yoya pwe), and the spirit possession dances to honour the spirit (tat pwe). Based on ethnographic film recordings made in the field, the film provides an account of the first days of the festival in February 2018. Focusing on the musical activities of the different ensembles supporting the celebration, the film presents the multi-layered sensory experience of the festival, and documents the relationship between ritual, music, dance, and spirit possession.

La danza del principe ebbro. Una celebrazione per gli spiriti in Birmania centrale (Myanmar). Ogni anno, in Birmania centrale (Myanmar), folle di pellegrini, devoti e specialisti rituali (nat kadaw) si riuniscono nel piccolo villaggio di Shweguni, vicino la città di Pakhan, per celebrare il festival (nat pwe daw) per lo spirito locale (nat) Min Kyawswa, il principe ebbro – anche noto come Ko Gyi Kyaw. Il suono del do waing (l’ensemble musicale che suona al principale santuario dello spirito) e di altri ensemble scansiona le attività rituali: la doccia reale delle statue degli spiriti (hkyo yay daw thoun), la celebrazione della tradizionale cerimonia per gli spiriti (yoya pwe) e le danze di possessione in onore dello spirito (tat pwe). A partire da riprese etnogra!che realizzare sul campo, il !lm dà conto dei primi giorni del festival documentati nel febbraio 2018. Concentrandosi sulle attività musicali dei diversi ensemble che supportano la celebrazione, il !lm presenta la stratificata esperienza sensoriale del festival, ponendo in evidenza le relazioni che intercorrono tra rituale, musica, danza e possessione.

The dance of the drunkard prince: A celebration for the spirits in central Burma (Myanmar) / Lorenzo Chiarofonte. - In: ETNOGRAFIE SONORE/ SOUND ETHNOGRAPHIES. - ISSN 2611-4267. - STAMPA. - 4:2(2021), pp. 117-134.

The dance of the drunkard prince: A celebration for the spirits in central Burma (Myanmar)

Lorenzo Chiarofonte
2021

Abstract

Every year, in central Burma (Myanmar), crowds of pilgrims, devotees and professional spirit mediums (nat kadaw) gather in the little village of Shweguni, near the town of Pakhan, to celebrate the festival (nat pwe daw) for the local spirit (nat) Min Kyawswa, the drunkard prince – also known as Ko Gyi Kyaw. The sound of the do waing (the music ensemble playing at the main shrine of the spirit) and of several other ensemble marks the ritual activities: the royal showering of the spirit statues (hkyo yay daw thoun), the celebration of a traditional spirit ceremony (yoya pwe), and the spirit possession dances to honour the spirit (tat pwe). Based on ethnographic film recordings made in the field, the film provides an account of the first days of the festival in February 2018. Focusing on the musical activities of the different ensembles supporting the celebration, the film presents the multi-layered sensory experience of the festival, and documents the relationship between ritual, music, dance, and spirit possession.
2021
The dance of the drunkard prince: A celebration for the spirits in central Burma (Myanmar) / Lorenzo Chiarofonte. - In: ETNOGRAFIE SONORE/ SOUND ETHNOGRAPHIES. - ISSN 2611-4267. - STAMPA. - 4:2(2021), pp. 117-134.
Lorenzo Chiarofonte
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/897575
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