FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
RUS | ENG

Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33

 

The MUONG SONG LORE IN COMPARATIVE CONTEXT: ORIGINALITY AND SIMILARITY TO THE VIETNAMESE TRADITION

Ekaterina Starikova

National Research University Higher School of Economics
16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., St Petersburg, Russia
estarikova()hse.ru

Abstract: This article is devoted to the study of the Muong song lore. The Muong are a minority group in Vietnam, and the Muong language is very closely related to Vietnamese. The purpose of this article is to study the song lore of the Muong (folk song genres, folk meters, images and symbols) and compare it to that of the Vietnamese.
Muong folk songs have much in common with Vietnamese. The structure of Muong and Viet call-and-response songs seems quite similar. Muong song lore exists in two languages — Muong and Vietnamese, and some songs are common for both the Viets and the Muong. However, Muong song poetry meters are fairly free form. The number of syllables in a line is not regulated, but there is often a rhyme, for which the position in a row may vary. Unlike lục bát poetry, in Muong folk songs internal rhyme can link the last syllable of the first line and the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and subsequent syllables of the second line. The position of a rhyme can change in a song, there may be no rhyme at all, or it can be absent at the beginning of the song and then appear in the middle.
In general, Vietnamese folk poetry is replete with metaphors of Chinese origin. There are quotations from Chinese classical books in folk songs. Muong folk songs avoided the influence of the elitist Vietnamese culture. They reflect local beliefs that are uncharacteristic of the Viet. But the music of the Muong folk songs is quite similar to Vietnamese traditional music. Muong song lore is an interesting material to study processes of cultural divergence and convergence.

Keywords: Viet-Muong, Vietnamese culture, song lore.

To cite: Starikova E., ‘Myongskiy pesennyy folklor v komparativnom kontekste: samobytnost i obshchnost s vetskoy traditsiey’ [The Muong Song Lore in Comparative Context: Originality and Similarity to the Vietnamese Tradition], Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33, pp. 65–83.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/033/starikova.pdf