Filming Taonga Pūoro: The potential of experimental film in anthropological and ethnomusicological enquiry

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In this article we discuss the potential of experimental film as an extended method of ethnographic enquiry within anthropology and ethnomusicology. Taking a point of departure in Aotearoa/New Zealand, with Māori carvers, composers, and musicians in and around the discourse of ngā taonga pūoro (traditional New Zealand Māori musical instruments), we examine how anthropologists, through the medium of film, may get closer to understanding alternative approaches to music-making within the discourse of the contemporary taonga pūoro tradition. Drawing inspiration from ethnographic film we explore the possibilities and also representational implications regarding the use of experimental film-making as a research tool within the canon of anthropological and ethnomusicological scholarship. We argue that there is space for experimental film in the anthropological discipline, especially when exploring multi-sensorial phenomena, such as music.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSITES: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Pages (from-to)120-142
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • visual anthropology, experimental film, ngā Taonga Pūoro (New Zealand Māori musical instruments), Mimesis, Aotearoa New Zealand

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