Inuit Throat-Singing: A Gutteral Game Gets a Cultural Resurgence
“It’s a friendly competition between girls, something they would do while the men were out hunting,” said Kathy in at interview at the conference. Karin added: ”It’s part of Inuit culture. It’s an oral tradition, it’s something that can’t be written down, it has to be learned from someone else,.”
A “game” of throat-singing begins with two women facing each other, standing close and sometimes holding each other’s arms. One begins to sing, while the other follows. The game can last up to a few minutes, and ends when one loses her breath, laughs, or breaks concentration in any way. Some sources, such as Pulaarvik Kablu Friendership Centre, cite that it was once practiced with their lips practically touching, the women using their opponent’s mouth cavity as a sound resonator.
While Australians face enormous challenges from climate change, put yourself in the shoes of those living on coral islands and atolls spread across the Pacific Ocean. For Pacific Islanders, land is life. Climate change is threatening this. It threatens families and the viability of islander communities and culture. The Pacific Island states of Tuvalu and Kiribati, situated north-east of Australia, and about half-way to Hawaii, are low-lying island nations experiencing some of the earliest and worst impacts of climate change.
"In the event that the situation is not reversed, where does the international community think the Tuvalu people are to hide from the onslaught of sea level rise? Taking us as environmental refugees, is not what Tuvalu is after in the long run.
We want the islands of Tuvalu and our nation to remain permanently and not be submerged as a result of greed and uncontrolled consumption of industrialized countries.
We want our children to grow up the way my wife and I did in our own islands and in our own culture.”
Climate change is happening. The scientific consensus is that human activity is warming the Earth. This is changing weather patterns, increasing the frequency and intensity of severe weather events such as droughts, floods and cyclones and causing sea level rise – all of which impact on the ability of people in Kiribati and Tuvalu to find shelter, food and clean drinking water.
as my aunty said the other day, it’s not only your house that goes when it floods but it’s also your entire community, your language, your tikanga, your culture, and everything else you could imagine. these things are near impossible to bring back once they’re gone.