PRESERVING THE KARBI KECHARHE ALUN FUNERAL EPIC IN ASSAM

  • POSTED ON July 2017 - July 2018
  • AUTHOR by Michael Heneise

The aim of this project is to record and transcribe five full versions of the Kecharhe Alun funeral epic in Karbi Anglong, Assam. Performed from memory, the Kecharhe Alun is the most significant, and longest (several days) single piece of chanted poetry in the Karbi oral literature repertoire, though it has never been thoroughly studied, or properly recorded, transcribed, or archived. As the indigenous Karbi population of Assam, numbering 419,534 (2001 India Census), is scattered throughout Eastern and Western Karbi Anglong districts in Assam, regional variations in the epic exist. Moreover, both the gender and social status of the deceased person are also important factors, and entail additional variations in the narrative. Thus, the project aims to identify and publish in book form (with accompanying digital audio copy) an ‘authoritative’ version, based on level of detail, quality, and complexity, and to document the above-mentioned variations as annotations to the fully articulated and musically notated single version.

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PRESERVING THE KARBI KECHARHE ALUN FUNERAL EPIC IN ASSAM

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