Word and/in movement: vocal forms in Guarani villages

Elizabeth Pissolato About the author

ABSTRACT

Based on contemporary ethnography with Guarani Mbya groups, this article describes different forms of the use of the word in interpersonal and village meeting contexts, understanding them, as suggested by Anthony Seeger, as part of a singular Guarani vocal art. Rather than a systematic analysis of vocal forms, my focus here is on the acting of the word, be it spoken, sung or silenced. Following different developments of the word in different contexts in Guarani villages, I suggest that its potency is duly effected as movement, whether extensive (people-bodies moving in space) or intensive (moving bodies in dance). Discussing the works of Pierre and Hélène Clastres concerning transformations of the Guarani word, and inspired by recent suggestions by Renato Sztutman, I conclude by defining movement as a power of non-subjection or freedom.

KEY WORDS:
Guarani; Mbya; Word; Vocal genres; Movement

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