Northern Haida Songs
This book describes the musical culture of the Northern Haida Indians, who speak two closely related dialects. One dialect group lives on Graham Island, British Columbia, the other on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The recordings on which the book is based were compiled over a period of more than a decade from a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources. Representing the entire range of the Haida musical tradition—a tradition that nearly died out and is currently being revived—this volume documents its changes over more than a century.
Part 1 is a lengthy ethnographic description of musical genres that situates Haida music in the context of the Northwest Coast. Part 2 presents 128 songs, fully transcribed and analyzed and representing some twenty types, ranging from traditional genres such as peace-making and mourning songs to songs of personal expression composed during the modern period. Part 3 is a detailed musical and linguistic analysis of the songs presented in the second part. The integration of descriptions of these two facets of song—music and language—is the particular goal of the book. The volume is a substantive contribution to the ethnomusicology of native North America and will be of special interest to scholars concerned with vocables in Native American music.
John Enrico has been engaged in linguistic research on the Haida language since 1975. His publications include The Lexical Phonology of Masset Haida and articles on aspects of Haida grammar. Wendy Bross Stuart’s first ethnomusicological publication was Gambling Music of the Coast Salish Indians. In 1980 she began collaborating with John Enrico in the transcription and analysis of Haida songs.