To Impersonate the Supernatural
Assembling evidence from various ethnographies, To Impersonate the Supernatural: Music, Ceremony and Culture of the Bella Bella shows that the Heiltsuk may properly be considered to have been the most significant musical and ceremonial group on the Northwest Coast during the 19th Century.
Destructive changes to coastal lifeways in the first half of the 19th Century sparked the widespread adoption of the hamaca dance complex from its origins in the Bella Bella-Rivers Inlet area. Kolstee's exploration of the winter dancing societies of Northwest Coast tribes offers a rare look at the poorly understood history of the tribes of the area.
Chapters devoted to music analysis examine the characteristics that musically encode song types of the region, as well as the separations between ceremonial and nonceremonial songs. They also reveal that the ceremonial song repertoire of the Bella Bella Heiltsuk is essentially made up of four distinct musical styles and that four-part organization is ubiquitous in musical patterning.
Category: First Nations/Music