DER Documentary

Kama Wosi: Music in the Trobriand Islands

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by Les McLaren
color, 49 min, 1979

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Traditional music of the Trobriand Islands is played on a variety of flutes, from simple curving stems to panpipes. Songs (wosi) are also an important part of Trobriand music, and although everyone may compose and sing, people with special talents are encouraged to develop their skills. A range of songs are filmed and translated here: gardening and sailing songs, kula trading songs, songs of love and enticement, of grief and mourning. The film also reveals glimpses of everyday and ritual life: villages, gardens (and their magic), exchange, harvest dances, children in the rain.

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