7. Dancing the Landscape: Music, Place, Collective Memory in a Highland Bolivia Pilgrimage

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

Tom Solomon [+-]
University of Bergen
Thomas Solomon, Ph.D., is Professor in the Grieg Academy-Department of Music at the University of Bergen, Norway. He has previously taught ethnomusicology and popular music studies at New York University, University of Minnesota and Istanbul Technical University. He has carried out ethnographic research on music, place, and indigeneity in highland Bolivia, and on place and identity in Turkish rap music and hip-hop youth culture in Istanbul. His publications include articles in the journals Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Yearbook for Traditional Music, as well as numerous chapters in edited volumes.


Every year during the celebration of the Feast of the Holy True Cross on May 3, indigenous people living in rural communities surrounding the colonial-era town of Chayanta in the Bolivian Andes perform a pilgrimage to the town. During the pilgrimage men play continuously on panpipes. Musical performance during the pilgrimage enables coordinated sociality across culturally defined landscapes and inscribes group identity and memory on the physical features of the land. Music thus gives human agency a physical, sensuous form – sound waves traveling through air, land, and people’s bodies – embodying ideas about the relationship between natural geography and social identity.

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Solomon, Tom. 7. Dancing the Landscape: Music, Place, Collective Memory in a Highland Bolivia Pilgrimage. Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2020. ISBN 9781781797594. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35830. Date accessed: 24 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35830. Mar 2020

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