2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Overtone Throat Singing and the Preservation of Tuva's Cultural Identity


Sydney J. Hawkins
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

Music can take on a new form of expression and meaning when the paradigm of performance is changed. In particular, Khoomei, or overtone throat singing, practiced by peoples in the region of Tuva, has existed in Southern Siberia since the origins of primal religion. This specific type of singing and its significance have been altered by the political and social influences of Russia and the Soviet Union during the last two hundred years. Within the complex and tense history of Tuva’s relationship with Russia, this vocal practice illuminates the dichotomy between modern and aboriginal ideas. Khoomei’s resurgence does not only stem from the release of political duress, but also serves as a lens through which we should consider the growth of broader concepts such as national identity, language, medicine, and the importance of preserving aboriginal culture.

Keywords: Tuva, Khoomei, Overtone Singing, Music, Aboriginal Religion, Soviet Union, Animism


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 309-2
Location: VH 1212
Time: 1:15

Add to Custom Schedule

   SRC Privacy Policy