ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Meakambut

Today on the ELAR blog, we are sharing the next short film from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. The film featured in this post was created from footage from the Meakambut ways of speaking: Audio-visual documentation of communication practices in a small semi-nomadic hunter-and-gatherer society in Papua New Guinea deposited by ELDP grantee Darja Hoenigman.

On this film, Darja writes:

The Meakambut are a group of 62 tropical foragers living and moving in their mountainous limestone country in the Northern fringe of Papua New Guinea Highlands. They speak their own language, Meambul momba, which belongs to the small Arafundi group. In this video we see Olomaŋey, Aŋgay, Yakalok and Parawip at Amiñimba rock shelter. The subtitled video provides us with a real-time experience of some ‘moments in their lives, which are now kept in the computer’, as the Meakambut themselves tend to explain my work with them.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Darja, and the speakers who made this film possible! Check back here on the blog to see the rest of the short films, which will be featured on the blog (one per week) in the coming weeks!

ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Dulong (Trung)

This week on the ELAR blog, we are sharing the next short film from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. The film featured in this post was created from footage from the ‘Documentation and Description of Dulong (Trung)‘ deposit at ELAR, deposited by ELDP grantee Ross Perlin.

On this film, Ross wrote:

Dulong (Trung) people live along the river and have several traditional ways of fishing. One sunny afternoon, three cousins went to a nearby bend in the river, explaining how they net fish. Dulong is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by approximately 6,000 people in China’s Yunnan Province, in the eastern Himalayas.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Ross, and the speakers who made this film possible! Check back here on the blog to see more of these beautiful short films (only three left!) which will be featured on the blog each week during the next few weeks!

ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Documenting a Religious Minority: Zoroastrian Dari in Kerman

Today on the ELAR blog, we are sharing the next short film from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. The film featured in this post was created from footage from the ‘Documenting a religious minority: the Dari dialect of Kerman, Iran‘ deposited by ELDP grantee Saloumeh Gholami.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Saloumeh and the speakers who made this film possible! Check back here on the blog to see more of these beautiful short films, which will be featured on the blog (one per week) in the coming weeks!

El Trompo de Esteban Guadalupe, Yoloxóchitl, Guerrero

Last week on the ELAR blog, we shared this film which was created by Chouette Films from documentation from the ‘Yoloxochitl, Guerrero, Mexico Mixtec stories and other oral traditions‘ deposit at ELAR, deposited by ELDP grantee Jonathan D. Amith.

This week on the blog, Jonathan is sharing footage from his documentation fieldwork:

On this film, Jonathan writes:

Esteban Guadalupe Sierra, de Yoloxóchitl, Guerrero, un hablante del mixteco de esta comunidad, le explica y le enseña a sus hijos como hacer un trompo de madera. Él usa la madera del ‘cuaulote’ (Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.) una madera blanda que facilita el tallado del trompo.

Esteban Guadalupe Sierra of Yoloxóchitl, Guerrero, a community speaker of Mixteco, explains and teaches his sons how to make a wooden spinning top. He uses the wood from cuaulote (Guazuma ulmifolia Lam), which is a soft wood which lends itself well to carving spinning tops. 

Thank you to Jonathan and the speakers for sharing!

ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Yoloxóchitl

Today on the ELAR blog, we are sharing the next short film from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. The film featured in this post was created from footage from the ‘Yoloxochitl, Guerrero, Mexico Mixtec stories and other oral traditions‘ deposit at ELAR, deposited by ELDP grantee Jonathan D. Amith.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Jonathan, and the speakers who made this film possible! Check back here on the blog to see the rest of the short films, which will be featured on the blog (one per week) in the coming weeks!

ELDP Project Highlight (Part 2): Meakambut ways of speaking: Audio-visual documentation of communication practices in a small semi-nomadic hunter-and-gatherer society in Papua

Today on the ELAR blog,

is back on the blog to share another excerpt from her field diary from her work on Meakambut in Papua New Guinea. To learn more about this project, visit the ELAR archive at here.

On my first trip I brought with me digitized video material which the anthropologist Borut Telban, who works in Ambonwari village, recorded when he met the Meakambut in 1991. These videos, which the Meakambut had not seen before, triggered interesting discussions about how differently they live now from how they used to live at that time, about the habits and personalities of the by now deceased relatives who were in the video, about their ways of speaking, eating, their quirks and their faults, as well as about their ways of sharing food with others. That video won me access to working with the Meakambut, as they clearly expressed the wish that their children and grandchildren be able to see them one day, like they could now see themselves (as children) and their ancestors. When we were later transcribing and translating the recorded materials I found that people were sometimes explicitly talking to their descendants who will at some point in the future watch these videos.

Pedi Warea, with her daughter Ropeka and grandson Aloa, watching herself as a young woman, and her late daughter Kuranda and husband Papilam in footage from 1991 (still frame from video recording by Darja Hoenigman).

ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Paunaka – Bolivia

Today on the ELAR blog, we are sharing the next short film from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. The film featured in this post was created from footage from the ‘Documentation of Paunaka‘ deposit at ELAR, deposited by ELDP grantee Swintha Danielsen.

This video shows two of the few last speakers of Paunaka, an Arawakan language of Bolivian Amazonia. The old lady María Cuasace is talking about a trip she once made, and she is conversing with Miguel Supepí. This is in fact one of the very first videos taken by the project team in Santa Rita. The other sequence is the celebration of All Saints, which is very important to the Paunaka and other people of the village. It is how they remember their deceased relatives and long-remembered forefathers. Miguel is performing the mass for the inhabitants of Santa Rita, where some other Paunaka people participate, all of them trilingual with Spanish and Bésɨro.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Swintha, and the speakers who made this film possible! Check back here on the blog to see the rest of the short films, which will be featured on the blog (one per week) for the next several weeks!

SOAS We Talk

To celebrate 100 years of SOAS in 2016, SOAS We Talk was proposed in collaboration with the SOAS World Language Institute. SOAS We Talk is for anyone who is passionate about language, culture and SOAS, and highlights the great diversity of the school.

As SOAS started its centenary celebrations, Language Documentation and Description students wanted to contribute to the festivities with a project of their own. SOAS We Talk was developed as a fully student-run project celebrating 100 years of diversity at SOAS by collecting, documenting, and sharing the languages spoken within the school. The goal was to capture the diversity at SOAS in as many languages, varieties, and dialects as possible using video recording and disseminating the data on our own YouTube channel and through a map visualisation. Videos were recorded of SOAS students, staff, alumni, and friends. The goal was to reach at least 100 languages but the project ended up with 119! Below are just a few of the highlights from the project:

  • The very first language in the project is Georgian spoken by Language Documentation and Description student Zurab (Note: there are subtitles!)
  • 100th language is British Sign Language by Lauren.
  • The very last language, the 119th language, is Tigrinya spoken by Sara:
  • Most students, alumni, and staff shared their language by talking about their experiences at SOAS, while others shared their language through poetry, or by giving us a glimpse into their lives while using their language:
  • Many friends wanted to wish SOAS a happy birthday.

All videos beautifully illustrate how linguistically and culturally diverse SOAS is which is exactly what the project wanted to achieve. If you like what you see, please also subscribe to our channel and share the videos. You can also follow us on Instagram @soaswetalk, and like our Facebook page!

If you didn’t have a chance to contribute a video, you can still participate by contributing subtitles! We are currently crowd sourcing the subtitles for the videos and it would be wonderful if you could spare 10-15 minutes subtitling a video or two. You can do this by signing in to your YouTube account (if you have a Gmail account, this is the same thing), and watching a video. Once the video opens, click the cog icon on the bottom right of the video. Select ‘Add subtitles/cc’, and you’ll be redirected to a screen where you can add subtitles. It is very quick and easy!

Finally, a big thank you is in order to everyone who participated and to everyone watching the contributions.

ありがとうございました, gracias, danke, a dupe, kiitos, terima kasih, mun gode, 謝謝 !

ELAR & Chouette Films Video Installation: Tobian (Hatohobei)

Today on the blog, we are sharing the third video from the video installation created by Anna and Remy Sowa of Chouette Films. This film was created from footage from the Tobian (Ramari Hatohobei) deposit at ELAR, deposited by ELDP grantees Bobby and Peter Black.

On this beautiful film, Bobby shared:

The video begins with Tobi, home island of the Ramari Hatohobei community, then moves on to a group of Tobian women in its daughter community 300 miles north in Echang, Koror, Palau, who are demonstrating how to make a variety of traditional baskets and discussing their use. The video ends with Helen Reef, 40 miles east of Tobi, the community’s traditional leader.

Thank you to Anna, Remy, Bobby, Peter and the speakers who made this film possible! The rest of the films will be featured on the blog (one per week) for the next several weeks!

ELDP Project Highlight (Part 1): Meakambut ways of speaking: Audio-visual documentation of communication practices in a small semi-nomadic hunter-and-gatherer society in Papua

Today on the ELAR blog, Darja Hoenigman shares an excerpt from her field diary from her work on Meakambut in Papua New Guinea. To learn more about this project, visit the ELAR archive here.

Through our discussions about language it became clear to me that the Meakambut take it for granted that their language will always be there. When I told them about cases when people in some parts of Papua New Guinea started replacing their language with Tok Pisin, and thus gradually losing it, the Meakambut thought it was unthinkable to be without one’s own language: “If you don’t have your own language, what will you do when there are people from other places around and you want to hide from them what you’re talking about?” said Yakalok. This remark reflects people’s intimate connection with their language, and is yet another confirmation of how in this northern part of Papua New Guinea even very small speech communities have cultural reasons for keeping their language different from the languages of their more numerous neighbours. The value placed on having a language incomprehensible to outsiders has perhaps played an important role in preserving the incredible linguistic diversity of New Guinea – up to just a few decades ago, when many town dwellers and some communities who have more contact with outside world started readily giving up their ancestral language for Tok Pisin.