SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Two Songs for a Red Girl: Music and Language in Eastern Amazonia

Guilherme Heurich (UCL)

Date: 8 May 2018Time: 3:30 PM

Finishes: 8 May 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar


This talk explores what the act of singing entails for the Araweté – an indigenous society in the Brazilian state of Pará. By looking at two songs directly related to a teenage girl's illness, I explore my interlocutors' comments on the differences between songs and speeches, bodies and doubles, kin and non-kin, and the living and the deceased. Here, I argue that songs are a fundamental aspect in the construction of mutuality or relatedness, but they also carry with them the possibility of someone's body being overcome by foreign sounds. 

About the speaker

Dr. Guilherme Orlandini Heurich is currently a British Academy Newton International Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, UCL. He has conducted fieldwork with amerindian societies for 12 years, and since 2011 has focused on the Araweté in Eastern Amazonia. Recently, he published the book Araweté: povo do Xingu (with Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Camila de Caux), and co-edited the special issue Language in the Amerindian Imagination (with Jan David Hauck) in the journal Language and Communication