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Musical Intimacies and Indigenous ImaginariesAboriginal Music and Dance in Public Performance$
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Byron Dueck

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199747641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199747641.001.0001

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(p.167) 6 Antipublicity
Musical Intimacies and Indigenous Imaginaries

Byron Dueck

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by looking at a Red River Jig competition held at a treaty-day celebration on a Manitoban reserve. Particularly notable at the competition were frequent and unscripted variations in the music accompanying the dancing and loud allegations of nepotism from an audience member. The chapter explores how musicians and others occasionally prioritize (or at any rate are alleged to do so) social intimates rather than the public, and it considers the negative political consequences this can have for indigenous communities and governments. The insistent prioritization of intimacy is one significant manifestation of “antipublicity,” a term introduced here to describe practices and protocols that qualify or impede an orientation to a public. The closing sections of the chapter explore further instances of antipublicity, including cultural prohibitions concerning the mass mediation of certain kinds of sacred knowledge and song.

Keywords:   Red River Jig, step dancing, fiddling, dance competitions, reciprocity, patronage, nepotism/corruption, antipublicity, colonialism, markets, political autonomy/self-governance

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