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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Our people are like gardens" : music, performance and aesthetics among the Lolo, West New Britain Province, Papua, New Guinea Stewart, Lynn Leslie


Relationships among the Aesthetic, culture, and music are problematic- Frequently considered as epiphenomenal to culture, music and the arts are typically seen as adjuncts to ceremonial activity- This dissertation examines the nature of the Aesthetic, music and performance in the context of the Lolo, Araigilpua Village, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, in an attempt to develop a definition of the Aesthetic applicable for cross-cultural research and to discover the ways in which the Aesthetic and culture articulate. For the purposes of this dissertation, the Aesthetic is defined as that facet of religion focused on responses to extraordinary powers thought to maintain what are considered to be proper relationships between human members of a community and extraordinary powers. Three forms of aesthetics, social, performance, and musical, are taken as the means and methods of directing interactions between man and extraordinary powers. At present, the Lolo are engaged in a process of secularisation resulting primarily from the introduction of Christianity, Western medicine and money. This dissertation examines the relationship between the Aesthetic and social life, and addresses the impact of changes to the Aesthetic.

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