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The Papua Nugini history

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Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

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1890

Houses, Frederick Willhelmshafen, Madang Province, PNG
© Courtesy of The Australian Museum

The majority of the 152 images were created by unknown photographers, and show portraits, ceremonies, village scenes and activities as well as trading stations. Some have informative captions, including local names and personal names of traders and settlers. Many of the Solomon Island images are identical to those in another album held by the Australian Museum (see Capell Collection) but the captions are sometimes different. Research suggests that the Beran album images were taken from the original negatives as the captions are at times more detailed. Also included are a few prints of images taken in Vanuatu by John Watt Beattie, Charles Morris Woodford and John William Lindt.

Harry Beran

Harry Beran is a scholar, author and collector specialising in the Massim culture of Milne Bay Province, PNG. He was working in the Philosophy Department, University of Wollongong, when he acquired the album and donated it to the Australian Museum.

Related images

Mioko Village, Duke of York Islands, East New Britain Province, PNGMioko Village, Duke of York Islands, East New Britain Province, PNG View full size
© Courtesy of the Australian Museum
Women and children, fishing village, Blanche Bay, East New Britain, PNGWomen and children, fishing village, Blanche Bay, East New Britain, PNG View full size
© Courtesy of the Australian Museum
Reef Island canoes, Solomon IslandsReef Island canoes, Solomon Islands View full size
© Courtesy of The Australian Museum
Panna, a chief of Simbo, Western Solomon IslandsPanna, a chief of Simbo, Western Solomon Islands View full size
© Courtesy of The Australian Museum
Hurricane proof house, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu

Hurricane proof house, Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu View full size
© Courtesy of The Australian Museum

1u16

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Heinrich  Zahn, the Missioner Of Papaua New  Guinea  letter in 1915
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Sent from New Guinea to Holland
and then forwarded to Germany. It seems like it was using an official system to tranmit mail. It still has the original note with a translation. There were several letters enclosed. Australian stamps used in New Guinea are very rare.(source Tim)
Read more about Missioner Henrich Zahn

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FIGURE 4 The Rev. Dr. Heinrich Zahn and his band at Hocpoi, 1927. By permission of Neuendettelsau Seminary Archives, Germany.from mainly Western-based music to what remained of indigenous music. Services began to feature indigenous musical instruments. In the Anglican Church, especially at feasts, kundu-playing choirs sang and danced their way to the sanctuary, often in a version of indigenous dress. In varying proportions, worship added hymns accompanied by kundus, rattles, and conchs; newly composed hymns in local languages; and most popularly, hymns with stanzas and refrains, accompanied by one or two guitars.

New Guinea and Its Islands

 Religion, the worship of the supernatural, goes hand in hand with music in the societies of Oceania, whose peoples practice it by intoning texts, sounding musical instruments, and making bodily movements.

In indigenous Oceanic societies, the supernatural ranged from spirits of land and sea, to personifications of nature, to gods of war and peace.

Worship varied from appeasing spirits and asking supernatural help in warfare, to blessing or harming crops and people, to invoking charms for calming the sea (figure 1).

The processes of ritual

Religion is often associated with what is called ritual (though ritual is not always religious), and outsiders often conflate these concepts.

Nevertheless, important concepts identified with ritual are useful for analyzing music and religion. Roy A. Rappaport, an anthropologist working in New Guinea, defined ritual as “the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances not encoded by the performers” (1979:175).

These acts and utterances are learned or memorized (or read) from ancestors’ teachings, and are not generated by performers. According to this view, a ritual is “a form or structure” having “features or characteristics in a more or less fixed relationship to one another,” and can exist only in performance. “The medium [the performance] is part of the message; more precisely, it is a metamessage about whatever is encoded in the ritual.”

Likewise, while worshiping, performers may not fully understand what they are doing; they may know only that doing it is necessary.

Thus, the process of performing is primary, while the product and its aesthetic evaluation are secondary. Religion is often part of a total cultural system, in which participation in religious activity is a social necessity.

In another sense, religious performance can be viewed as a kind of theater—the enactment of myths received from ancient times, or the reenactment of events in the history of spirits or gods.

Aboriginal Australians believe that by ritually combining words, music, movements, and designs to reenact the events of the Dreaming, they make old powers work anew.

Early anthropologists, like E. B. Tylor and James G. Frazer, interpreted some rituals

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FIGURE 1 An Ifalik navigator sings and performs movements to ensure the safety of his voyage, 1975. Printed from a videocopy of a film made by Scott Williams for the Smithsonian Institution.as magic. Evolutionary views of human social progress led them to link their concept of magic with “primitive” societies and their concept of religion to “advanced” societies. Many anthropologists have discarded social evolutionism, but some older publications, including those of Bronislaw Malinowski (1922, 1955), are useful for their information about indigenous religion and “magic,”

a specific power, essentially human, autonomous and independent in its action. This power is an inherent property of certain words, uttered with the performance of certain actions by the man entitled to do it through his social traditions and through certain observances which he has to keep, The words and acts have this power in their own right, and their action is direct and not mediated by any other agency. … The belief in the power of words and rites as a fundamental and irreducible force is the ultimate, basic dogma of their magical creed. Hence we find established the ideas that one never can tamper with, change or improve spells; that tradition is the only source from which they can be derived; that it has brought them down from times lying beyond the speculation of man, that there can be no spontaneous generation of magic. (1922:427)

The use of charms and spells, usually involving musical recitation, remains important in Oceania. A typical example is magic in Man us, which includes words and sometimes music: “It is recited aloud. It cannot be stolen by another. Its power is dependent on its having been rightfully obtained in marriage exchanges, peace-making exchanges or by more outright payment. After it is handed over it cannot be used by its former owner” (Fortune 1935:121). 

The wake of Christianity

The introduction of Christianity brought new supernatural and musical concepts, which have been adopted and adapted in myriad ways (figure 2). Across Oceania, Christianity has become a religious veneer, covering—and in some places irretrievably obliterating—indigenous religious systems.

The introduction of Christian music helped gain the widespread acceptance of

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FIGURE 2 In a church in Rarotonga, the congregation sings. Photo by Adrienne L. Kaeppler, 1992.Christian beliefs. New musical genres combined precontact and introduced musical concepts into popular forms, such as hīmene in East Polynesia peroveta in Papua New Guinea. In other areas, including Hawai’i and Aotearoa, poetic compositions were added to hymns. Still popular is “Hawai’i Aloha,” an unofficial national anthem, composed by the Reverend Lorenzo Lyons and set to the melody of “I Left It All with Jesus.” One of the most popular pieces of music in parts of Oceania is the Hallelujah Chorus, sung in local languages, not only at Christmas and Easter, but at any time of the year. 

One trait carries over into the new orthodoxy: performers still worship because they feel they must, and they may harbor only the vaguest understanding of the theology that underlies their beliefs. In the apostolic sects (Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism), the language of the liturgy is simple and direct, but until the late twentieth century, Anglicans usually heard it in a sixteenth-century English version, and Roman Catholics always heard it in a medieval Latin one.

A widespread result of the introduction of Christianity has been the development of syncretic religious forms, in which Christian and indigenous ideas have blended. As part of this process, introduced Christian music has undergone reinterpretation (Barker 1990; Boutilier, Hughes, and Tiffany 1978). In some Oceanic societies, mainly those of Polynesia, Christianity has been the standard public religion for so long—about two hundred years in Tahiti—that old and now-secularized religious forms have without controversy been reintroduced into modern-day worship.

—ADRIENNE L. KAEPPLER, J. W. LOVE

AUSTRALIA

Aboriginal cultures show basic similarities in myths about the Dreaming, the era of the creation, when great ancestral beings walked a featureless world, experiencing life and procreating. Every event that occurred to each of them resulted in the creation of geographic features, and so they sculpted the Australian landscape, creating

the plants, animals, and peoples of the known world. They also founded the religious ceremonies, marriage rules, food taboos, and other laws of human society.

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… The Dreaming is … the generative principle of the present, the logically prior dimension of the now. (Sutton 1989:15) 

The ancestral beings created songs of their journeys, commonly known by Central Australian performers as history songs, embodying laws for the maintenance of society, land, and totems. Since the beginning of time, performers claim, these songs have passed unchanged from generation to generation. 

History songs often cross linguistic boundaries, mapping places in ancestors’ journeys. The ancestral beings, when they created features or landmarks, left embedded in the earth inseminating, supernatural powers, which, through the correct ritualized performance of the ancestors’ songs, knowledgeable people can tap. The Dreaming is understood as morally neutral, and the power of the songs can serve positive or negative ends (Strehlow 1971:262; Wild 1975:139).

Religious resonance is an important aspect of Aboriginal singing. Many extraordinary sonic experiences occur within the heightened emotional state of profound performances. These experiences are hard to describe. They are not measurable by electronic equipment, which deals only with the physical aspects of sound. Some Aboriginal sounds are totally disorienting. They seem to disconnect participants from the everyday world. Aboriginal society has mechanisms for introducing new songs, especially through dreamed ancestral gifts. These songs are less sacred than history songs, and appear to be more susceptible to change over time.

—CATHERINE J. ELLIS

NEW GUINEA AND ITS ISLANDS

In New Guinea, the drama or music inspired and received enhancement from sensation and emotion. Collective ritual and musical performances often had a climactic, and even traumatic, character. Moments of intense social drama, especially of bereavement or physical pain (typically in initiations), they stimulated senses and feelings, often as part of the workings of revelation. Actions, rather than words, or at least not freely articulating speech, triggered experiences and meanings.

Some of this past remains. Participants in religious rituals still reach an understanding of ritual events by decoding the symbolism of performances. Baktaman novices learn to appreciate the mystical connection between dew (rubbed on the skin) and physical growth, because dew forms on leaves as if from nowhere (Barth 1987:32-35). At Wahgi feasts, men build a sacred structure on posts representing subclans. For periods between festivals, they inter these posts in swampy ground. The tenet that the posts never decay and may serve in later festivals reconceptualizes the clan’s immortality (O’Hanlon 1989:78).

For intensely moving, revealing, and mainly nonverbal experiences, music often provides an important stimulus. Its communicative aspects sometimes lie in the analogic principle of codification, as with Sepik flutes, tuned to mimic sacred species of birds, whose behavioral and physical peculiarities bring into focus various cosmological mysteries. The Kaluli believe fruitdove calls convey sadness: when Kaluli songs mimic their cries, the singer “becomes the bird,” passing from life to death (Feld 1990:218-219). The Yonggom believe the hum of a swung slat resembles the noise of engines, providing a musical vehicle for religious ideas about the origins of European goods (Kirsch 1992).

Where lyrics are the means of religious communication, they are often ungrammatical, and the words themselves may be archaic or secret (Barth 1975:70). The language may be foreign, as in Karavar ritual songs (Errington 1974:177). In some cases, ritual actions and materials suggest verbal meanings; in others, participants may interpret the meanings of strange sounds on the basis of subtle connotations with real or modern words (Lewis 1980:59-60).

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Music thus bolsters the cultivation of mysterious and multivocal symbols, but it is also emotionally arousing and expressive. Chambri music achieves poignancy in its beauty (Allen 1967:68; Mead 1935:245). When a conch accompanies singing, it may be discordant and awe-full (Williams 1928:38). Music can even be defiant, like cargo cultists’ nocturnal drumming, expressing opposition to Christian missionizing (Trompf 1990:76). Emotion abounds in the Kaluli gisalo: the sadness of music so moves guests, they singe the skin of their hosts, who stoically endure the pain.

Indigenous music and ritual

The grandness of musical performance may stimulate “collective effervescence,” by which a community of people “assemble and become conscious of their moral unity” (Durkheim 1964 [1915]:387). In societies dispersed in hamlets or nuclear families for much of the time, the experience of large ritual gatherings is impressive. The concerted efforts of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists reinforce a sense of largeness; synchronized movements, voices, and rhythms produce intense solidarity. Baining men unite their voices in large choirs, accompanied by the beating of many bamboos: the force of their playing makes the earth vibrate; struck by feelings of common identity and collective strength, participants sometimes weep. In small, boundary-conscious societies, religious experience often inheres in an appreciation of the solidarity and immortality of clans or communities. In keeping with a Durkheimian vision of the throng as god, religious music integrates, represents, and sacralizes society.

In New Guinea, music has important mnemonic value (Lewis 1980:64-65). Its use with other sensory and emotional stimulation and an emphasis on concrete metaphors relate to performative infrequency. Where societies perform rituals rarely, ideas and feelings evoked by rituals must impress on memory a character strong enough to survive long periods of abeyance (Whitehouse 1992). In the highly elaborate and systematized ideas of routinized religions, language—liturgies, scriptural readings, sermons—codifies revelation. Unlike these, many New Guinean religious matters must persist in people’s minds for years without transmissive contexts. Under these conditions, musical performance binds simple symbolic processes and potent emotional states. How the metaphors of Kaluli songs compel guests to weep “dominates both the aftermath and the remembrance” (Feld 1990:215).

Infrequency of transmission also affects the material form of instruments. When elaborate instruments, whose manufacture requires skilled labor, are not in use, people keep them strictly separate from the social world. In many areas of New Guinea, garamuts and other instruments remain within ceremonial houses. The Chimbu carefully preserve flutes in leaf coverings within men’s houses (P. Brown 1978:223). A safer method of ensuring that exposure to instruments occurs only on appropriate ritual occasions is to develop a disposable musical technology. When Sambia initiations end, the participants discard the sacred flutes (Herdt 1981:230). Within a few minutes, the Mali Baining can fashion and tune simple reed instruments (kelarega), which, immediately after use, they deliberately destroy.

—HARVEY WHITEHOUSE

An indigenous context: Asmat

A legend of creation anchors Asmat religious beliefs and arts. According to the legend, the people’s full name is Asmat Ow Kaenak Anakat (Asmat People Who Are Real Humans), that is, Asmat people who are not carvings. Real Asmat people descended long ago from their creator, Fumiripits, who one day landed unconscious on the shore. When he awoke, birds rescued him; henceforth, he saw birds as symbols of the ancestors. He gathered timber and rattan to build himself a longhouse, and spent his days carving wooden figures. Eventually, he filled his house with carved likenesses of humans and birds, yet he felt lonely.

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One day, Fumiripits made a drum (em). He hollowed out a log, used his blood and some white lime to attach the skin of a lizard over one end, and secured the skin with a rattan band. He started to play, and the carvings began to move, jerkily at first. He beat the drum faster, and the figures moved less stiffly. They turned into living, dancing humans.

Fumiripits then moved to a succession of sites, where he similarly created the populations of villages. The people he created were called Asmat. People who inherited his skills at carving, wowipits, learned to carve ancestral figures, some of which were attached to drums, houses, boats, and so forth. Only Fumiripits can create human beings, but wowipits are important people, because ancestral souls (bis) can inhabit carved figures. Unlike other craftsmen, who create useful implements and other objects and services for consumption, wowipits create drums and other artworks for use in religious rites.

Ceremonial performances

Some ceremonial Asmat dance-movements are based on avian movements, emphasizing the legendary link between human beings and ancestral symbols. Songs and stories say the soul of a newly deceased person travels in a boat along rivers, building a house at various places until it reaches the ancestors’ land.

After a sago or coconut harvest or a successful wild-pig hunt, the Asmat hold ceremonies to invite ancestral spirits to meet the living and strengthen them. Whenever customary leaders decide to hold a ceremony—to honor the ancestors, to listen to their demands for revenge from wrongdoers, for initiations, to launch canoes, when an important decision needs to be reached—men gather in the communal longhouse for days and nights. Women periodically bring them meals. In the longhouse, men stand to sing and dance, or sit to rest or listen to speeches, each with a spear and a shield.

A ceremony witnessed in a longhouse in Agats

In a ceremony held to request ancestral advice about a division of land, all participants were males. They wore mainly red, white, and black clothes, with belts and monkey-fur headbands, shell necklaces, rattan armlets, white feathers, and bone nose ornaments. Ocher-red symbolized strength, shell-white signified human skin, and charcoal-black symbolized relief from pain. Participants clustered around fireplaces situated every few meters along the floor. Periodically they stood up, sang in chorus, and engaged in dancing (bis pok mbui ‘ancestral spirit-dancing’). They stepped right and left, or simply swayed their bodies while standing or sitting. The floors rippled and swayed.

The tempo of the singing (whose melodies mainly used two or three tones) and drumming kept changing. After a vocalist began to sing, everyone stood to join in, each man dancing in place. Some of the men shouted out comments, whereupon the tempo of the music and dancing increased, only to stop altogether some time later. While resting, participants smoked or ate a snack of sago, and at mealtimes they ate fish or pork, with rice. They then resumed the next bout of music and dancing, repeating the process all day and all night for as long as they believed the ancestors required. The movements, based on those of birds, emphasized the mythological link between human beings and birds.

Carving ritual drums

Asmat ritual art is largely men’s business. Women are not allowed to be present while a wowipits is carving a ritual object or design, or to be in the longhouse on the most sacred occasions, while male musicians play and sing, though they are expected to

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bring meals. Some ceremonies, however, are for women only; men and women may participate in warfare-related ceremonies. 

The main Asmat instrument is a single-headed hourglass drum with a wide waist and a handle attached to one side. Drums from the east and Brazza-northeastern areas are usually plain; drums from the coastal-central and northwestern areas are often decorated with carvings representing ancestral spirits. The handles of the latter drums have carvings of animal, bird, and geometric designs on their bodies; on their handles they bear elaborately carved ancestral figures facing two directions, often combining human and avian faces. In some cases, white and black feathers and beads hang from the body and the handle.

The drums vary in size, depending on their area of origin, with large ones being about 80 to 100 centimeters long, and small ones about 50 centimeters. The drumhead, about 14 to 18 centimeters in diameter, has lizardskin stretched across it, kept firmly in place by a plaited rattan band just below the rim. To keep drums dry and insect-free, the Asmat usually store them on a rack above a fireplace. Before playing, they tauten the skin by holding it over a fire. Normally, they play only one drum at once. The player holds it in his left hand, beating the head with his right hand.

For a carver-artist to make a ritual drum takes about a month. On its handle and body he may carve designs of spirits’ hands and ears, fruitbats’ feet, hornbills’ heads, monkeys’ tails, wriggling snakes, and human figures. For his labor, he and his family receive gifts of cooked meals.

Insiders and outsiders

Partly as a result of Dutch military presence from 1904 to 1913, the world began to find artistic value in Asmat ancestral carvings (including musical instruments) and masks, and such items are found in the world’s major museums. In 1953, after the Dutch had defeated local fighters, the Roman Catholic mission in Agats became influential. Its leverage increased after 1963, when the Indonesian government invaded and took control. This government tried to stop local warfare and cannibalism, yet ancestral rituals were still commonly held. The mission’s museum in Agats has collected Asmat carvings, musical instruments, and other artifacts. In 1988, it became known as the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress, and received financial assistance from by the government’s Department of Education and Culture. The mission and the government encourage Asmat carvers and performers to resist being swamped by tourists’ demands for cheap artifacts.

Promoting trade and enhancing Indonesia’s image, the government has sent Asmat performers to the United States, Britain, and elsewhere. To some Asmat participants and foreign observers, the presentations—of rural sacred arts to urban secular audiences—have seemed incongruous. Such presentations bring to the fore the conflicting perceptions of “insider” Asmat performers and “outsider” foreign audiences.

— MARGARET J. KARTOMI

A syncretic context: Mali Baining

Among the Mali Baining in the early 1970s, a millenarian religious movement, Pomio Kivung, spread widely (Whitehouse 1995). Its main goal was to prepare for and expedite a miracle—in which ancestors would return to life, bringing material wealth. According to the movement’s Christian-syncretic doctrines, those who invested this wealth wisely would merit salvation.

In 1987, mainly in two villages, a splinter party emerged and claimed it could work the miracle on its own. Renouncing its allegiance to the overall movement, it vowed loyalty to local leaders. These acts did more than assert a new and modified religious dogma: they confirmed the autonomy and unity of a small political unit,

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upholding its leaders’ authority. The splinter party relied heavily on new forms of collective ritual, in which music played a prominent role. 

The model for leadership in the splinter party came from a myth relating the adventures of the ancestor Aringawuk, who experienced a mystical journey to the world of the dead. Returning home, he brought news of a new morality, similar to the Ten Commandments. He urged his people to accept this morality, but they did not, and in protest, he hanged himself.

The details of this story appeared in a song partly remembered by elders. As the splinter party coalesced, they pieced the song together, rehearsing in secret. They finally performed it in public, celebrating one man’s dream—that the ancestors had chosen a new leader, Tanotka, to complete Aringawuk’s task. Tanotka was a young man with little communal influence, but in the light of dreams and other sources of revelation, the community elected him to a position of authority and likened him to the central post of a house: as that post supported the rafters, people expected him to carry the community in its quest for the miracle. These ideas found expression in musical performance.

Celebrating the dream

The climax of the celebration of the dream about Tanotka occurred in a meetinghouse. Men occupied about one-third of it, crammed together on a wooden platform. They handled lengths of bamboo, with which they beat rhythms on the planks beneath them. Contrasting with the complexity of their neighbors’ rhythms, which the Mali often copy, “authentic” Mali rhythms are simple. In the song about Aringawuk, an even beat alternated with a polka-like rhythm, three beats followed by a rest.

The accompanying melody had the character of a dirge. It began on a low note (the pitch varying by verse), slid up to a rapid succession of high notes, and fell to the original one. The oscillation between a low register and a high one corresponded to changes of volume: the low note was quiet and somber; the high notes, loud and stirring. While the choir remained strong, melodies and lyrics repeated; but when several of the men’s voices became weak or fell silent, somebody (usually an elder) would begin a new verse, cueing others to unite behind him and sing with gusto. The same technique introduced songs, often selected according to the mood of the man introducing them, or his perceptions of the mood of the assembly. Sometimes few in the choir knew the new song, and another person might introduce a change. The main criterion for a successful rendition was that it be moving or evocative, and this feeling rose and fell with the energy invested in performing.

Fervent singing inspired the women and girls to dance. When the choir sang the song of Aringawuk, men raised a post, symbolizing the leader Tanotka; women danced around it, in a tight, shuffling crowd. Every couple of hours, on average, all rested for up to fifteen minutes. The singing and dancing lasted until dawn:

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Syncretic music and ritual

The musical rendition of the story of Aringawuk inspired perceptions that ordinary speech, or even the most practiced and persuasive oratory, could not have animated. The story itself recounted the failure of the ancestors to unite behind an inspired leader, with tragic results. It recognized the arrival of a new leader and the opportunity for redemption; this time, it asserted, the community would, in the prevalent metaphor, “stand as one person.”

Unified thought and action achieved its most dramatic display in synchronized drumming and singing, the result of careful and strenuous rehearsal. A solid relationship linked the synchrony of musical performance and the unity of the community. The women’s dancing around the housepost affirmed communal allegiance to Tanotka, around whom everyone symbolically gathered. A series of individual declarations of solidarity, however impassioned, could not adequately have conveyed a similar impression.

The advantage of music was that it could communicate the idea of a body of people greater than the individuals of which it was composed—and within that collectivity, it could cultivate strong emotions. The juxtaposition of differing melodies, intensities, and rhythms created ever-shifting moods, from lamentation in grief to affirmation of allegiance. These moods were meanwhile enhanced by the participants’ movements, heat, and odors.

—HARVEY WHITEHOUSE

Christian contexts

In 1871, the London Missionary Society (LMS) ventured into New Guinea. At first, it represented all Protestant religious denominations; later, it became increasingly a society of independent or congregationalist churches. British missionaries saw themselves as leaders in spreading civilization. For many, imperial expansion was a providential means for making converts to Christianity. Some foreign critics concluded that British colonialists were extending their political control under the cloak of Bibles, prayers, sermons, and hymns.

Political events in 1868 and 1869 required the missionaries to withdraw from French territories in Oceania (Prendergast 1968:69). The French government allowed only islanders under its administration to work as religious teachers in French Polynesian territories. Polynesians played important roles as missionaries in New Guinea, where they first arrived in 1872.

The tools of conversion included hymns. The missionaries began with texts in English and German, but soon added local languages. Kate, once spoken by about six hundred people in a handful of villages, spread through the peninsula into upland areas as far west as Mt. Hagen; by the 1950s, about seventy-five thousand persons understood it. In the same way in northeast New Guinea, the Lutheran mission used Gedaged and Jabêm. Between 1898 and 1984, it printed nearly forty hymnals containing texts of hymns, most of which were Western hymns with indigenous texts (Wagner and Reiner 1986:445). Other missions and their languages are Wesleyan (Dobu, Kuaua), Anglican (Binandere, Wedau), Kwati (Suau), LMS (Hiri Motu, Kiwai, Toaripi), and Unevangelized Fields Mission (Gogodala). After the late 1950s, when English became the national language of education, the religious importance of these languages declined.

The 188Os and after

In 1886, Roman Catholic priests founded a mission on Yule Island. Rivalry with Protestants erupted, but with less dissension than in other areas of the Pacific. By 1887, five organizations were working in New Guinea: the LMS; the Order of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic); Wesleyan Methodists; and Lutherans from

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Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, who in 1886 had established a mission at Simbang, near Finschhafen. These missions were on coastal strips or in the islands. 

In 1890, the leaders of the Protestant missions divided British New Guinea (Papua) into spheres of influence. The Methodists took responsibility for the islands off the eastern coast. The LMS, the largest mission, took responsibility for the southern coast. The Church of England agreed to evangelize the northeastern coast, where its missionaries first arrived in 1891.

The missions recognized the importance of getting to know the people to whom they were preaching. Roman Catholics demanded obedience on questions of doctrine, but in other matters allowed converts to continue their old ways. Methodists emphasized an ethical, rather than a doctrinal, manner of life, which did not tolerate “heathen” customs. As late as 1925, one LMS missionary, Charles Abel (at Kwato), condemned indigenous drumming and dancing. Anglican missionaries never fully believed that without their intervention the peoples of the Pacific would die out. They seesawed between demanding the eradication of indigenous culture and tolerating some indigenous activities; but they always condemned dancing because they thought its sexual connotations sinful.

New Guineans learned hymns quickly. Communal singing in church paralleled their experience, since indigenous religious rites involved music. The Anglican Church offered pieces by Handel, Keble, Sankey, and Wesley. Nonconformist works, especially those in gospel-song hymnals, were popular at Dogura in 1894, but Anglican clergymen tried to replace them with plainsong. The gospel-song style gained and held popularity. Certain musical influences at Dogura came from the Kwato mission, where children learned sol-fa singing.

Wherever the music came from, each mission stamped it with unique intonation and rhythms. Wesleyan hymns were “bright rousing choruses, while Anglican singing was always slow and lugubrious” (Wetherall 1977:179). Hymns presented Papua New Guineans with particular problems: the music followed a diatonic scale, with a functionally tonal syntax, in Western structures. Indigenous peoples could not understand the words. Their own songs were repetitive, with only a few notes (often only three to five), sung from memory. Western hymns—in books, with many words and long stanzas—required literacy.

The indigenization of hymns

For missionaries in New Guinea, the choice of music for Christian worship was never straightforward. New Guineans sang the Christian message in local languages before they could read. Is a German chorale sung in a vernacular language not wholly indigenous? If an indigenous Christian composes a hymn in imitation of Western examples, is the new composition indigenous? If a text is a translation of an English or German text, but the melody is indigenous, is the new piece indigenous? The permutations of these variables illustrate the complexity of service music in New Guinea. Identified and listed, they illuminate the word indigenous when applied to hymns.

These are the main kinds of MUSICAL indigenization in New Guinea: A.

Existing Western music, printed in hymnals

 

B.

Music composed in a Western style by an indigenous person

 

C.

Music using indigenous musical material, adapted by an indigenous person

 

D.

As C, but adapted by a Westerner

 

E.

Music composed by a Polynesian, as in peroveta

 

F.

Music composed by an indigenous person in a traditional style

 

G.

“Popular” Western style, as in gospel songs

 

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H.Traditional percussion: kundus, garamuts, or kundus with garamuts

 

I.

Conch trumpets

 

J.

Rattles, or other traditional instruments

 

K.

Western instruments, as an organ

 

L.

Guitars, ukuleles

 
These are the main kinds of TEXTUAL indigenization in New Guinea: M.

Existing Western texts, printed in hymnals

 

N.

Western texts (as M), but translated into an indigenous language

 

O.

Composed by an indigenous person in English or German, based on Western theology

 

P.

Composed by an indigenous person in an indigenous language, based on Western theology

 

Q.

Composed by an indigenous person in an indigenous language, based on New Guinean theology

 

R.

Western (as M), but translated into Tok Pisin

 

S.

Composed in Tok Pisin by an indigenous person

 

T.

Composed in Tok Pisin by a Polynesian

 
These are the main kinds of local indigenization in DANCE: U.

Movement and costume from indigenous traditions

 

V.

Movement and costume from Polynesia

 
In some missionaries’ minds, any permutation except A + M marked a hymn as indigenous, even if only one of the other variables were present. There could therefore be shades of indigenization: A + N, A + O, B + N, B + O, and so on. The most common pattern, in all religions throughout Papua New Guinea, is A + R, a Western hymn with words translated into Tok Pisin.

 

Peroveta

In Central, Gulf, and Western provinces, one unique influence remains: peroveta ‘prophet’, Polynesian music brought by Polynesian LMS missionaries. The people of those provinces believe this influence came from Fiji, Tonga, Sāmoa, or Rarotonga. To learn to sing and dance peroveta, delegations from Western Province annually visit Rarotonga.

The singing of peroveta falls mainly to a mixed choir in two parts. The texts tell of biblical prophets. Dance, an essential element of the genre, illustrates the narratives (figure 3). The songs, often responsorial, frequently use percussive vocalizations typical of certain Polynesian male singing. Though some local people consider peroveta to be thoroughly indigenous, its phrases are longer than those of local songs, and many of its pieces are in a language unknown to the singers.

Conch bands

From 1902 to 1932, the Rev. Dr. Heinrich Zahn served in New Guinea as a Lutheran missionary. To accompany singing in Christian contexts, he formed bands whose instruments were shells of gastropods of genera Cassis, Fusus, Strombus, and Triton (figure 4). Through holes drilled through the apex or the side, players buzzed their lips. Instruments were of graded sizes: the larger the shell, the lower the pitch.

In 1920, Zahn saw the chance of using these trumpets in four-part harmony—an effect that occurred in precontact music only as the result of accidental melodic overlapping. Zahn’s first band, in 1925, consisted of nineteen conchs. Each shell produced one note, tuned to the diatonic scale. Zahn’s bands gave intonational support

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FIGURE 3 During the Hiri Moale Festival, a choir performs in a perovetacompetition. Photo by Don Niles, 1991.to New Guinean Christians who had difficulty singing in tune. Another solution might have been to import a harmonium, but the Lutherans took pride in using locally available materials. These bands were unique in Oceania. Their heyday lasted three years (1925-1927). One band played at Hocpoi, one in the middle school at Watsutieng-Logaweng, and one in the church at Malalo. 

Before Zahn could form the band, he had to overcome two problems: to obtain conchs and devise a method by which the players could read music. He introduced a notation using the numerals 1 to 7, with 1 representing the tonic (figure 5). He marked lower and upper octaves with dots below or above the numerals respectively. Two (or more) dots below (or above) indicate two (or more) octaves down (or up). Zero denotes a rest. A dot after a figure doubles a duration. Lines above numerals show rhythm: one line marks an eighth; two lines, a sixteenth. An asterisk indicates a flat.

The Conchshell-Hymnal (Zahn 1959) contains eighty-three hymns, some with multiple titles in English, German, and Jabêm. Some hymns have up to five titles. The disposition of the languages hints at the popularity of a particular hymn or the suitability of a text to a language area. Having each person play one tone imposes restrictions on the music, since the coordination of fast notes would be difficult. Zahn responded to this concern by choosing hymns in block chords with simple harmonies, mostly triads in root position.

Around 1927, trumpets, tubas, a baritone, and a trombone—a gift from the Evangelical Trumpet Band Association of Bavaria—arrived at Hocpoi. Zahn taught young people to play these instruments. He then amalgamated his bands: for a few months, ten brasses and twenty-five conchs accompanied hymns in Hocpoi.

Several conch-band revivals have occurred. At Lac around 1955, an expatriate teacher formed a band at Bumayong High School, near the Lutheran headquarters. Revivals occurred briefly at Asaroka Lutheran High School in the 1960s; Bukawa in 1964 and 1983; Logaweng Seminary, Finschhafen, in 1982; and Germany in 1953 and 1972 (Muhlenhard 1983).

Later trends

After Papua New Guinean independence, the missions formulated a policy of indigenizing the liturgy, music, language, and clergy. This policy changed the emphasis

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FIGURE 4 The Rev. Dr. Heinrich Zahn and his band at Hocpoi, 1927. By permission of Neuendettelsau Seminary Archives, Germany.from mainly Western-based music to what remained of indigenous music. Services began to feature indigenous musical instruments. In the Anglican Church, especially at feasts, kundu-playing choirs sang and danced their way to the sanctuary, often in a version of indigenous dress. In varying proportions, worship added hymns accompanied by kundus, rattles, and conchs; newly composed hymns in local languages; and most popularly, hymns with stanzas and refrains, accompanied by one or two guitars. 

In rural performances of the 1990s, the distribution of musical styles might be 10 percent hymns (English and translated versions), 10 percent choruses (with guitar), and 80 percent indigenized music (with kundus). The proportions in urban parishes are possibly 45 percent, 45 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.

Papua New Guinean Anglicans have their own hymnal, with 280 hymns. Many of its texts come from standard British hymnals (Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised 1947; Vaughan Williams, Shaw, and Dearmer 1925), but churches use many modern hymns, often with a repeated chorus. The Lutheran Hymnbook, reflecting its origins, features German chorales. The United Reform Church uses Wesleyan hymns, whose texts expound the strict morality of nineteenth-century Nonconformism. Evangelical churches favor the musical simplicity of gospel songs, encouraging congregations to clap and dance as they sing. —ANNE M. GEE

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FIGURE 5 Conch-band notation: the beginning of “Onward Christian Soldiers” (Zahn 1959). The symbol ∗5 is a flat fifth, though the functional tonality of the note is a sharp fourth. By permission of Kristen Pres Incorporated, Madang, Papua New Guinea.MELANESIA: VANUATU

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In Vanuatu, where notions of the secular are importations, all music bears the influence of religious experience. The ni-Vanuatu (indigenous peoples) distinguish between animistic practices and Christian sects, often nominal, in that elements of old beliefs permeate them. The national motto is We Stand With God (Long God Yumi Stanup), but savvy pagans—15 percent of the population, living mainly on Espiritu Santo, Pentecost, and Malakula—ask which god politicians and clerics have in mind. The resulting conflicts have overt musical implications.

On many northern islands, neighboring villages compete in sawagoro-like dance-songs. In numbers, vigor, volume, and choice of music, one side tries to surpass another. Historical interpretation is a field for combat, on which villagers define their local identities by mobilizing myths and metaphors. To show sophistication, performers select pieces illustrating heroic or even antiheroic stances. One side waits for the other to finish, and fills pauses between items with smartly apposite items. On Ambae in the early 1990s, an Adventist village might have sung popular “Christian choruses” from the European-American campfire ecumenical tradition, advocating puritan virtues. Other villages might have answered it with a sawagoro about a hero who achieved renown by apparent transgressions: lies, adulteries, murders, wars. Comprehensive and subtle, the irony may elude missionaries’ ken. Villages that have renounced custom because of sectarian dictates (Seventh-Day Adventists, Apostolic Church, Church of Christ) often appreciate most sharply the importance of indigenous music. To keep up the interface between custom and importation, they maintain links with laxer Christian sects (Anglicans, Roman Catholics).

Despite rejuvenating events, musical variety often gives way to imported uniformity. By the 1990s, Vanuatu’s 105 languages of the 1970s (each with music related to specific terrains) had dwindled. Conscious of loss, peoples looked inward to cultural specificities in their languages, and produced songs in a mixture of dialect and neo-Melanesian—in what outsiders sometimes thought to be innocuous string-band music, a pan-Pacific style, in which, typically, performers recount boy-meets-girl situations. Though some of the music builds false happiness, some is social commentary in disguise. Apt subjects are adultery, incest, rape, murder, treason. The pretty mask of innocence cozens missionaries and ni-Vanuatu politicians, struggling to homogenize their peoples. Once pierced, the surface of much pan-Pacific pop never looks the same. The ubiquitous string band, Vanuatu’s vigorous, cutting-edge form, where “you have to know the words,” has a deadly, religious-political side.

The content of string-band lyrics comes directly from indigenous song. The government bans some old forms, such as the East Ambae tanumwe, which musicians no longer compose because they deal with technical incest (intramoiety cohabitation), a matter religious people do not tolerate, though they know it persists. Whenever someone sings one of these songs, a crowd gathers and weeps.

Songs and dances join religious forms in marking notable public events. The completion of a building, a well, a windmill—all demand rituals of consecration. In 1977, the Nagriamel Party celebrated with a ceremony the opening of a new road. A suicide eased the question of who should inherit the land, resident colonial commissioners unknowingly ate forbidden pigeons (which they had put on a protected list), and people from the hinterland danced na polo counterclockwise and killed hermaphrodite pigs. At the other end of the road, performers did double-line dances to the accompaniment of an accordion, instead of double raft panpipes; they said the accordion played “much the same sounds.” At any point in such ceremonies, people may break out into nineteenth-century evangelical hymns, such as “Shall We Gather by the River?”

In church-run schools, students typically learn music from a blackboard display

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of sol-fa notation, taken from hymnals published in England. They ignore end-line and mid-line pauses or prolongations, and the sung result is irregular tempo, often with novel rhythmic effects. Neither in hymns nor in string-band songs, their popular offspring, are phrases equal in duration. The aesthetically admired manner of singing requires volume as loud as possible, and no vibrato. 

In 1977, a religious performance used inaudible music. For tribute at a bishop’s consecration, all communities of the diocese presented dances. People from Mota, Motalava, and Maewo displayed elaborate headgear and dress. In perfect synchrony, they danced silently, to music heard only in their heads. Conclusively, punctiliously, they then destroyed their garb. None in the audience knew what religious sentiments they had been expressing.

In the 1970s, high-church Anglicans encouraged a fusion of indigenous and Christian cultures, and local composers set the text of the Anglican Mass to Mota melodies. Fundamentalist Christian sects have pushed ritual music to elementary levels, but more complex religious music might arise from inspiration by international contact on occasions such as the Pacific Festival of Arts. —PETER RUSSELL CROWE

MICRONESIA: YAP

To Yap in 1886 Spanish Capuchin missionaries brought Gregorian chants, the music of the Roman Catholic Church. Distributed among the sections of the Mass, and proper to the day and time, these pieces display various monophonic styles and structures.

In 1903, German missionaries brought another language and different customs. Hymns performed on Yap in the mid-1990s show that the linguistic legacy of German missionaries exceeded that of Spanish ones. German words have made their way into Yapese, most likely as a result of being in religious music. An example is the text of the Agnus Dei, “Saaf ku Goof” (‘Lamb of God’, figure 6). The Yapese word saaf comes from the German word Schaf’sheep’; and Got, from the German Gott ‘God’ (Jensen 1977).

Most hymns performed on Yap have been adapted from conventional hymns or carols. “Felfelan’dad” (‘Let’s Be Joyful’) is widely known beyond Yap as “Joy to the World,” and “Nep ni Zozup” (‘Holy Night’) is based on “Silent Night.” Not all such melodies, however, come from international classics; often, though, the texts are literal translations from English into Yapese.

Yapese hymns have been collected and printed in Ngadatanggad ku Samol (Songs of the Savior), which sorts them by their role in the Mass, their seasonal use, or their topic, such as songs of Mary (tang ku Maria), songs of the dead (tang ko yam), songs

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FIGURE 6 The Agnus Dei as performed on Yap in the mid-1990s. Transcription by Deirdre Marshall-Dean.

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of the Mass (tang ko Misa). At the beginning of the book is a collection of general hymns, not all of which conform with the melodies of standard Roman Catholic hymns. 

Taking melodies from international pop, local composers have created hymns. The most notable of these is the Christmas song “Ke Yib Fare Raen” (‘The Light Has Come’), based on Simon and Garfunkel’s melody “The Sound of Silence.”

Yapese sing hymns outside religious services—at parties and village celebrations, usually unaccompanied and in unison. One such piece is the communion hymn “Kammagar Samol” (‘Thank You, Lord’), based on the song “Kumbaya.” A possible reason for using that music with Yapese words is the phonetic similarity between kumbaya and kammagar. —DEIRDRE MARSHALL-DEAN

POLYNESIA

Important religious concepts of Polynesia included the origin of the universe and connections among gods, ancestors, and humans. These connections were ritually maintained through music and dance, systems of knowledge that hereditary experts held in memory. Gods and people formed a continuum of the sacred and the profane. As gods were sacred and people profane, so were chiefs sacred and commoners profane. This axiom underlay Polynesians’ sociocultural organization, justifying ranked social and kinship structures. It still underlies many Polynesian interpersonal relationships.

The details of Polynesian cosmogony remain to be worked out, but the Proto-Polynesian universe probably began with a primary void. From it came heaven and earth, personified as a sky-father and an earth-mother, who clung in a warm embrace until they were pushed apart by one of the four great Polynesian gods—Tāne, Tangaroa, Tū, and Rongo—or sometimes by a lesser god (or demigod), Maui. In Hawai’i, rather than rending heaven and earth, the sky-father and earth-mother, with various partners, gave birth to the individual islands of the Hawaiian chain.

These gods took various forms throughout Polynesia. They concerned themselves with the creation of the universe, most elements of nature, the other gods, and human beings. They displayed human dispositions, and had to be honored, worshiped, and appeased. Each island or cluster of islands had a unique cast of lesser deities, emphasizing locally salient plants, animals, and natural phenomena. Special gods—like Pele, the goddess of volcanos in Hawai’i—met the requirements of special natural environments (figure 7).

The underlying set of principles through which Polynesians interpreted their world and organized their social lives included mana and taboo (tapu), concepts intertwined with ideas of rank based on divine descent. Mana, possibly best glossed ‘supernatural power’, was a generative force, often linked with genealogical rank, fertility, and protocol. It was protected by taboos, some of which had musical significance because they were charms, activated by the recitation of verbal formulas. As

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FIGURE 7 Near the edge of Hale Ma’uma’u Crater, Hawai’i, Hālau o Kekuhi perform a hulain honor of Pele, the volcano goddess. The teachers of this school, the Kanaka’ole sisters Nalani and Pualani, received a National Heritage Fellowship in 1993. Photo by Adrienne L. Kaeppler, 1982.restrictions on behavior, some taboos were made visible by signs, like a bent branch, or a specially plaited frond attached to a tree to protect its wood, its leaves, or its fruit. Other taboos were conceptual, supported by myths and other intangible tokens of morality (Handy 1927).

 

West Polynesia

In West Polynesia, Tangaloa (East Polynesian Tangaroa) and Maui were the important male god and demigod, respectively, and Hikule’o (Tonga) or Saveasi’uleo (Samoa) governed Pulotu, the underworld. In Tonga, Maui pushed up the skies, ordered in ten layers. Tangaloa was the sole creator, whose universe was the ocean and a many-tiered sky. In Sāmoa, he threw a rock into the ocean, and it became the island of Manu’a. (Alternate myths exist.) The Tongan islands were said to have been created when the gods threw down chips of wood from their workshops. Maui or Tangaloa used special fishhooks to fish up certain islands from the sea.

The origin of the universe

The organization of the universe and important events in the lives of gods or chiefs were embodied in songs and dances that became chronicles of history and geography. The following excerpt, from Tonga, describes the role of Maui and the layers of the heavens (after Kaeppler 1976:202-203).

Na’e fakatupu hotau fonua, Our land was created,
‘O fakapulonga mei ‘olunga, Shrouded from above,
Pea tau totolo hangē ha unga. And we crawled like crabs.
Langi tu’o taha, langi tu’o ua, The first and second skies
Tala ange kia Maui Motu’a Tell to Maui Motu’a
Ke ne teketeke ke ma’olunga To push them high
Ke havilivili he ‘oku pupuha, So the breeze can come in, for it is hot,
Pea fakamaama e fanua. And bring light to the land.
Pea tau tu’u hake ki ‘olunga, And then we stood up,
‘O ‘eve’eva fakamafutofuta. And walked about proudly.
Langi tu’o taha, langi tu’o ua, The first and second skies
Ko e langi pe ‘a Maui Motu’a. Are the skies of Maui Motu’a.
Langi tu’o tolu, langi tu’o fā, The third and fourth skies,

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Nofo ai ‘a ‘Ūfia mo Latā: Are the living places of ‘Ūfia and Latā:
Ko e langi kehe, langi ‘uha, These are separate skies, the rainy sky,
Na ‘ufia e langi ma’a, That covers the cloudless sky,
Pea lilo ai Tapukitea. Where Tapukitea is hidden.

Tapukitea is Venus, the morning and evening star. Later verses mention the origin of the Milky Way and certain climatological features.

 

West Polynesian myths also recount the origin of chiefly titles and kava rituals, linking political structures with other beliefs, and making political and religious concepts suitable topics for the poetry performed at kava ceremonies. In Sāmoa, Tagaloa (Tangaloa) had kava brought from heaven to slake his thirst (Pratt 1891:164). In Futuna, a man obtained kava from spirits in a trance (Burrows 1945:59). A Tongan and Sāmoan myth says kava first grew from the buried body of a chief’s leprous daughter.

The maintenance of order

Taboo contrasted with permitted behavior. The contrast was sometimes explicit, as in Samoa, where notions of the bound (sā) and the free (fua) affected many aspects of life. In Sāmoa since missionization, the Christian day of restricted behavior has been Sunday (aso Sā ‘bound day’), and the people’s first day free of its restrictions has been Monday (aso Gafua ‘free day’). Hence a song of Savai’i, current around 1900:

‘O le tulī ma le ve’a fiafia aso Gafua. The tern and the rail enjoy Mondays.
Kilekuā aso Sā, kilekuā! Kilekuā Sundays, kilekuā!

As with many Polynesian lyrics, even in children’s songs, this text is metaphorical: by saying a seabird (the tern) and a landbird (the rail) enjoy Mondays, it means that all birds—all people—do.

 

Belief in gods and spirits occasioned the performance of several kinds of music. Recitations of prayers were common, by heads of households on behalf of families, and village priests on behalf of communities. In old Sāmoa, annual offerings of food to gods were “associated with games, sham-fights, night-dances” (Turner 1884:20), and a conch served as the emblem of certain gods of war (Stair 1897:221). In the West Polynesian outlier Tikopia, a cycle of seasonal rituals, the Work of the Gods, occasioned the performance of kava, reciting, singing, and dancing (Firth 1967).

Religious beliefs also underlay funeral customs. Laments were a standard feature of indigenous music; some were performed with conventionally intoned sighing, wailing, and sobbing (Kaeppler 1993b; Mayer and Nau 1976), but others were not always somber, weepy, or lugubrious. In old S̄moa, survivors let a dead chief’s body decompose; they eventually severed the head and interred it, but did so with feasting and dancing (Brown 1972 [1910]:405). After the Western missionaries’ arrival, funerals became Christian events, which followed Christian liturgies. In Sāmoa, Protestant funerals end with a performance of the hymn “‘Ia Fa’atasi Pea Iesū ma ‘Oe,” a version of the nineteenth-century evangelical hymn “God Be with You.”

Today, most West Polynesians are Christians. Elaborate churches are familiar aspects of the landscape. In addition to furnishing music for worship, choirs compete in festivals, in their home countries and abroad.

—ADRIENNE L. KAEPPLER, J. W. LOVE

Christian music in Tonga

In 1822, Wesleyan missionaries arrived in Tonga and immediately saw how important music was in Tongan life. On 2 December 1827, a simple hymn of two stanzas,

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composed by the missionary Nathaniel Turner, was sung at a religious service—the first time a Christian hymn was sung in the Tongan language. During the first thirty years of Christianity in Tonga, Methodist missionaries translated many hymns composed by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). The Te Deum was sung in Tongan as early as 1839, at the marriage of Sālote, daughter of Taufa’āhau (later King Tupou I), to a high-ranking chief, the Tu’i Pelehake. The first Tongan hymnal (1849) contained 189 hymns. Missionary Walter Lawry, in a visit in 1850, observed the worship in Nuku’alofa: “The beautiful harmony with which they went through the responses in the Morning Service was very affecting, in tones like the sound of many waters” (Wood 1975:1:91). 

James Egan Moulton and his numerical notation

In 1865, the Rev. (later Dr.) James Egan Moulton (1841-1909) came from England as a missionary and teacher. In 1866, he founded Tupou College, now the biggest boys’ secondary boarding school in the South Pacific. His brilliance as a theologian, linguist, and musician is still recognized. Words and phrases from his hymns have become proverbial in the Tongan language, quoted in public in various settings. Moulton retranslated hymns and the liturgy into stately Tongan, replacing what the early missionaries, with a less fluent knowledge of the language, had produced.

Though the Roman Catholic and Methodist churches shared the pioneering of Christianity in Tonga, it is Moulton’s contribution that is musically outstanding. Composing hymns for the students of Tupou College, he began to introduce music written in sol-fa, but when he started to teach, he learned that certain combinations of syllables were indelicate words in Tongan. He then devised a numerical notation, which Tongan churches and schools still use, even for eight-part anthems and music for bands.

By introducing a system of notation, Moulton brought to Tonga the European oratorio tradition. Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah soon became familiar. Moulton’s Tongan translations of favorites such as “Abide with Me,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” have become part of the cultural heritage of the Tongan people.

Moulton’s techniques of translating

Moulton used his linguistic and theological skills to weave meaningful illustrations into his interpretations of hymns. In the Tongan version of Joseph Scriven’s text “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” especially the lines “Are we weak and heavyladen, / Cumbered with a load of care,” Moulton used the idea of a father and son going to the garden to get food for the family. The food was carried in a coconut-leaf basket hung on a long stick, the father resting one end of the stick on his shoulder, and the son taking the other end. When the father would draw the basket closer to his end, he would take more of the weight of the load, lightening it for his son. Reinterpreting the hymn, Moulton wrote:

Ka ne ‘ave ki he ‘Eiki, si’o ngaahi fu’u mo’ua,

Te ne ala pe ‘o hiki, hilifaki hono uma:

Te ne toho pe ke ofi ‘au pe hono ma’ama’a.

Tu’u totonu ‘o malohi, faingofua ‘a e faingata’a.

If you take your burdens to the Lord,

He will lift them on to his shoulder:

He will pull the burden closer to make your load lighter.

Stand tall and be strong, and the burden will be easy.

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For Frances Havergal’s hymn “Master, Speak! Thy Servant Heareth,” Moulton began with the idea of a master-servant relationship. He added the story of the calling of Samuel, to produce what has become a favorite Tongan children’s hymn, “‘Amusia ‘a Samiuela hono ui ‘e he ‘Eiki” (‘Oh that I were Samuel to be called by the Lord’).

Some favorite hymns are Moulton’s own lyrics, set to widely known tunes. “‘E ‘Eiki, ke ke me’a mai ‘a e anga ‘eku nofo” (‘See, Lord, the way I live’) illustrates his skill in evoking culturally important imagery. His lyrics meditate on the temptations that surround our lives, trying to trap us:

‘Omi ha konisenisi hange ha tama’imata,

Ke u kalo ‘oka lave si’i ha me’i angahala.

Give me a conscience as sensitive as the pupil of the eye,

So that I will turn away if a speck of sin touches it.

In other texts, Moulton used illustrations from the sea, deeply familiar to an ocean-bound people. In Tongan minds, his hymns evoke important meanings and values associated with outriggers, sails, masts, harbors, storms, and anchors. Noted Tongan scholars have said that no Tongan has equaled his use of the Tongan language.

 

Moulton’s followers

Moulton imbued his students with his love of hymns. When they graduated and returned to their villages, they formed choirs and taught their congregations music they had learned at the college. In 1935, Dr. A. Harold Wood (1896-1989, another musician, also principal of the college) introduced choral competitions, which became so popular that choirs of a hundred or more voices now travel from all over the islands to participate.

Over the years, outstanding Tongan musicians have worked in Christian musical idioms. Tevita Tu’ipulotu Taumoefolau (1915-1981) and Feleti Sitoa Siale (1912-1996) of the Free Wesleyan Church, and Sofele Kakala (1916-1991) of the Roman Catholic Church, were exceptional Tongan choirmasters. Kakala composed Tongan-language masses that incorporated indigenous Tongan melodic contours, and the Vatican honored him for his music. —HELEN TALIAI, SIUPELI TALIAI

Christian music in Sāmoa

In 1830, LMS missionaries arrived in Sāpapāli’i, Savai’i, and King Mālietoa Vaiinupō accepted them. At first, Tahitian and Rarotongan teachers conducted hymns and services in their own languages (Faleto’ese 1961:85); later, missionaries composed Sāmoan texts, for which they borrowed simple melodies from various sources. After the 1840s, when the missionaries established seminaries (Mālua and Pīula), Sāmoans learned English hymns. Graduates from these institutions, as pastors throughout the islands, took these hymns to villages, where they can still be heard in churches and family prayers.

Musical traits of hymns

In modern arrangements, the melody can occur in the soprano or the tenor, or be distributed among four parts; or its melodic line may be hidden and carried by one or two voices. Descants, mostly in the major mode, sometimes decorate hymns. The crossing of voices is uncommon.

Harmonic structure resembles that of English hymns. The diminished chord, a foreign trademark, is popular; it appeared early in Sāmoan hymnals, and later in songs by local composers. Parallel fourths rarely occur. Vocal duets and trios have

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become popular in late-twentieth-century sacred music. A feature of sacred music original to local composers is a parallel movement of inner voices (alto and tenor) in a final cadence or final chord that, in an amen gesture, restates the last line or words of a verse or refrain. 

Harmonic modulation between stanzas came from abroad. In the 1980s, modulation a semitone upward became a favorite way to connect stanzas and hymns, and to end the last section of a song. As a result of repeated upward modulations, sopranos sometimes approach final cadences straining to reach the pitch. The singing of high notes results in straining and nasality, named by several Sāmoan terms: fa’ataiō, fa’aumu, and pese i le isu ‘sing through the nose’.

Rhythms, whether fast or slow, usually derive from textual pronunciation. Short vowels tend to have notes of shorter duration than long vowels. Directors or organists usually start with the music before adding words. Using a text improperly in borrowed music may violate the relationship of vowel length and rhythm, making certain words sound awkward, and even changing their meaning.

In the treatment of tempos, pace reflects mood: texts about tragic events are slow, and texts about joyful events are fast. To specify tempo in written music, local composers write a Sāmoan word that describes the tempo they prefer; for example, the term laulausiva (in other contexts the name of an introductory item with gestures and claps) prescribes a lively, fast tempo.

Strophic form, a trait of many indigenous songs, occurs in Sāmoan hymns. Anthems based on biblical texts are through-composed, with or without repeated sections. Large works called psalms (salamo) have three movements—fast, slow, fast—with an introduction and interludes. Other religious compositions have a development and a coda. Strophic and through-composed hymns have a tendency to repeat each stanza, the refrain after the last stanza, and the last lines of the refrain.

Variations in dynamics are uncommon in Sāmoan religious performances. A piece is sung loudly until the last refrain, which the choir first sings softly and then loudly; the soft singing signals that the hymn will soon end.

The singing of hymns once had a nasal timbre, especially in soprano and tenor voices, which, by carrying the melody in alternation or doubling, stood out from other parts; but in the late 1990s, this nasality is diminishing. Most Sāmoan choral directors do not like it, and try to change it during warm-up exercises (figure 8). Directors also try to control vibrato, three kinds of which are becoming popular in sacred choirs: a fast tremolo, as if quivering (tete pei e ma’alili ‘tremble as if shivering’); a yelling vibrato, with the mouth widely open (tete fa’aumu, or tete fa’ataiō); and a slow, hollow vibrato, resulting from lowering the jaw (leo tete fa’a’ō’ō).

The texts of Sāmoan religious music use the formal register, with the phoneme /t/ pronounced [t]; this register also serves for reciting religious verses, saying prayers, and giving sermons. A controversial textual practice in religious music of the 1980s and 1990s has been to use secular terms, like proverbs and legendary allusions—phrases typically spoken by orators and chiefs in settings outside the church.

Typical plans of worship

Each denomination follows its own order of worship, with slight variations. In Protestant churches, this plan is typical: 1.

Organ prelude, optional

 

2.

Invocation (tatalo ‘āmata), said by the pastor or catechist (ta’ita’i)

 

3.

Hymn (pese fa’afetai or Agāga Pa’ia), sung by the choir and the congregation

 

4.

Long prayer (tatalo ‘umi), said by the pastor or the catechist

 

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FIGURE 8 In Pago Pago, the choir of the Congregational Church of Jesus in Samoa rehearses. Photo by Leua Frost, 1995.5.The Lord’s Prayer, sung by everyone present in a musical version standard throughout Sāmoa. In the Mass, many Roman Catholic congregations also sing this version of the music

 

6.

Hymn, sung by the choir and congregation

 

7.

Skits, optionally inserted by Sunday-school students; especially in Methodist churches in Tutuila, the idea of skits was introduced by the late Rev. Fa’atauva’a Tapua’i, pastor of Susana Uesile Methodist Church in Tafuna and chairman of the National Council of Churches in American Sāmoa

 

8.

Sermon (lāuga), by the pastor or the catechist

 

9.

Hymn, sung by the choir and congregation; at special services, like the anniversary of the founding of the local parish, the choir may at this point present an anthem, or the congregation may sing a psalm to a European psalmodic formula

 

10.

Organ postlude, optional

 
Solo singing is popular in weddings, funerals, and sections of some anthems and psalms.

 

Protestant congregational singing includes hymns from Britain and the United States, especially Sunday-school songs, some in versions maintained orally from the 1800s. Their texts are usually Sāmoan translations by LMS missionaries (whose churches now form the ‘Ekālesia Fa’apotopotoga Kerisiano i Sāmoa) and Methodist missionaries. Protestant services may feature solo, duet, trio, or other small-ensemble performances of gospel or pop adaptations, accompanied by synthesizers or other musical instruments.

Roman Catholic churches follow the order of worship specified in standard liturgical books, but Sāmoan priests make minor adjustments for special services. Many congregations sing hymns—music and text—borrowed from Protestant hymnals. Musical traits particular to Roman Catholic services include responsorial singing between a cantor or a priest and the congregation; the singing of Latin texts, or of Sāmoan texts translated from Latin; and the adaptation of Sāmoan texts and music.

Much music is felt equally appropriate for Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. The main reason is that Roman Catholic churches hire Protestant choir directors. The major forces behind this trend were two composers from the Congregational Church of Jesus in Samoa, Mata’utia Pene Solomona and Elder Mr.

[p. 207 | Page Image]

Ioselani Pouesi, who taught many of today’s choir directors, and composed music for Roman Catholic and Protestant hymnals. 

Musical philosophy

Protestant pastors believe musicians play an important part in religious services. A common phrase they use when thanking musicians is E mafai e le pese ona lāuga, ‘ae lē mafai e le lāuga ona pese ‘A song can preach, but a sermon can’t sing’. Pastors who graduated from theological colleges are said to have been the first choristers (faipese) in village choirs; in some areas, this tradition continues. Some congregations accept that pastors must control the choir; others reject this relationship. Disgruntled members of the church voice their disagreement to pastors by quoting a common phrase: “The job for which we brought you here to our village is your Bible, not music.”

Before the mid-1900s, pastors allowed organists and choirs to select songs for Sundays because the organists could play only by ear (tā fa’alogo) or by fluke (tā fuluka): they needed time to learn to play new hymns and teach them to the choir. By the 1990s, however, most village choirs included one or more persons who could read musical notation, and pastors exercised more choice in selecting hymns.

Conservative pastors prefer to maintain older styles of performing: singing accompanied by an organ (pump or electric), or unaccompanied. They believe the use of keyboards with small log idiophones (pātē) distracts congregations; they disparage the use of pop tunes. But some choristers quote biblical phrases to support the idea that the use of drums and other instruments to praise the deity is theologically acceptable. Some pastors allow drumming, clapping, and dancing in Sunday school and during special services, like White Sunday (Lotu a Tamaiti), the second Sunday in October, when children regale the congregation with religious recitations, songs, and skits.

In the western islands, some Methodist churches put the organ aside and employ sets of pātē, each instrument with a unique pitch; some Roman Catholic churches also allow pātē. Other churches use brasses, woodwinds, and an electric organ. The Assembly of God has begun using electric guitars. Portable keyboards with built-in percussion are fashionable in several denominations. Innovation comes from musicians influenced by popular music, and from American popular or gospel artists, including Michael Jackson and Gloria and William J. Gaither.

—Paul Vaiinupō Pouesi

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FIGURE 9 Pushing up the sky with the feet is a recurring theme in Polynesian religious texts, here featured in sculpture as part of the stand of a Hawaiian pūniu. Photo by Bishop Museum.East Polynesia

Religious experience in East Polynesia underwent dramatic transformations when, largely by the mid-1800s, Polynesians devalued indigenous religious practices to embrace Christianity. Within each society, the role of music has remained central, albeit in different ways. The continuity of certain structural concepts from indigenous spirituality suggests uniquely Polynesian configurations in religious experience, many of which manifest themselves in musical performances (Forman 1982; Garrett 1982) (figure 9), including those in secular contexts.

Several core concepts mark spirituality throughout East Polynesia. The central concept is mana, a dynamic force, regulated through interdictions (tapu, Hawaiian kapu), which keep the sacred separate from the secular. Regulating the flow of mana in and through people and objects was an objective of religious and spiritual practices on at least two levels. First, elaborate state rituals of invocation to major deities, performed on stone temple platforms, legitimized ruling chiefs and maintained stratified social orders, especially in Hawai’i (figure 10) and Tahiti; an elite class of priests closely guarded knowledge of these rituals (Kaeppler 1993a). Second, lesser rituals of supplication to minor deities and animistic spirits permeated daily life; these were

[p. 208 | Page Image]

Image

FIGURE 10 Religious architecture in East Polynesia: center, a reconstructed Hawaiian temple (heiau) at Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i; right, the spire of Mokuaikaua Church, on the site where, in 1820, missionaries from Boston established the first Christian church in the Hawaiian archipelago. Photo by Adrienne L. Kaeppler, 1996.performed in front of altars whose purposes and locations varied from domestic to occupation-specific concerns. 

Central to rituals on all levels were prayers. Uttered in various styles of declaimed speech, these were rendered conceptually distinct from speech by generic classifications, simultaneously in three domains: subject, rhetoric, and declamation. Prayers were believed to effect desired ends because of sanctity inherent in the formulaic statements, as is illustrated in the Hawaiian proverb I ka ‘ōlelo ke ola, i ka ‘ōlelo ka make ‘In the word is life, in the word is death’, and in a belief in dire consequences for prayers incorrectly uttered (Tatar 1982; Valeri 1985).

In the earliest postcontact decades, East Polynesians saw outsiders transgress tapu without retribution, and experienced the compromised effectiveness of tapu in the face of new technologies of production and warfare. They widely considered Christianity a means for obtaining prestige-associated foreign goods. On missionization, they had already renounced the tapu system, or were on the verge of doing so.

Effects of Christianity

Locale-specific configurations of historical circumstances accounted for important differences in denomination and colonization, affecting musical practices. LMS missionaries began evangelical work in the Society Islands in 1797. Helped by Tahitian catechists, they expanded westward to the Austral and Cook islands in the 1820s. American Congregationalists of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions began a mission in the Hawaiian Islands in 1820.

Roman Catholic priests, regarded as a religious arm of French colonial aspirations, faced initial resistance in areas where substantial populations had converted to Protestantism and Protestant missions enjoyed ranking chiefs’ support; the priests had their greatest successes in the Gambier, Marquesas, and Tuamotu archipelagoes, which have remained predominantly Roman Catholic. Among the Maori in Aotearoa, denominational diversity prevailed, as Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist missionaries competed for converts, beginning in the 1820s and 1830s.

Musical ramifications of conversion to Christianity vary throughout East Polynesia. In Protestant areas, missionaries vigorously worked to suppress indigenous practices; those that survived decades of censure did so underground. In Roman Catholic areas, priests tolerated some indigenous activities as resources that could be developed for devotional purposes: hence the emergence of Mangarevan

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‘akamagareva, devotional hymns in the format of kapa, and Marquesan ru’u, chants with devotional texts. American missionaries in Hawai’i taught musical literacy and the use of Western musical notation (Stillman 1993); in contrast, LMS missionaries in the Society, Austral, and Cook islands relied on oral instruction and transmission (Babadzan 1982).

 

Indigenous practices, resurfacing with vigor in the 1830s and 1840s, began to coexist with the singing of Christian hymns. Out of that coexistence emerged new musical styles, which fused aspects of Western melody and harmony with indigenous vocal styles and textures, chief among them the multipart choral tradition of central East Polynesia, known as hīmene in the Society and Austral islands, and ‘īmene in the Cook Islands. (These are vernacular forms of the English term hymn.) These styles emerged largely within Christian worship and devotional contexts, where they have strengthened and enhanced the expression of Christian faith. Many of them, taken into secular contexts and infused with secular subjects, coexist alongside their models (Stillman 1991).

Survivals and revivals

Christianity in East Polynesia accommodates beliefs and practices stemming from indigenous spirituality. Notions of mana continue to inform Christian supplications, as do notions of rank, status, and prestige in the social organizations of village parishes; this is especially notable in village pastors’ and priests’ oratory. Such hierarchies are leveled, however, in congregational singing, which requires cooperative participation. Belief in, and respect for, ancestral spirits persists.

Though Christian hymns continue to play a major role in islanders’ daily lives, indigenous spirituality has been reawakening in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend has especially characterized colonized areas, where political activism is aimed at restoring self-determination. Struggles to regain access to lands and redress environmental imbalances (formerly regulated by tapu) have focused on lands identified as having precontact religious significance.

Since the mid-1970s, a resurgence of voyaging, through the revival of Polynesian navigation, has stimulated a revival of corresponding rituals, ceremonies, oratory, invocations, and styles of performance required for their presentation. In 1995, the convergence of sailing canoes from various East Polynesian areas at the sacred site of Taputapuatea (Ra’iatea, leeward Society Islands) marked a formal reestablishing of ancestral relationships among Polynesian peoples.

—AMY KU’ULEIALOHA STILLMAN

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The end @ copyright 2012

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