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Sonang Sitakar's Performance of Si Buah Mburle

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Chapter Summary

The sukut-sukuten Si Buah Mburle was recorded on 11 January 1979 in the house of Bapak Kabeaken. This chapter presents the main elements of the story from Sonang Sitakar's performance. Sonang Sitakar opened his performance with a loud chant to ask permission from the ancestors. The chant, which lasts more than five minutes and is performed with many repetitions and elaborate embellishments, is based on a traditional four-line empama. While the translations of the narrated passages try to closely follow the text, the chanted and sung sections can for the most part only be paraphrased, as their texts are composed in a special manner: much of their contents consist of vocables or wordplay in the form of phrases that often do not follow the rules of regular spoken language. This makes them difficult to understand, which is done deliberately, as opaqueness is a characteristic feature of chanted expressions.

Keywords: chanted expressions; Sonang Sitakar's performance; sukut-sukuten Si Buah Mburle



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