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Music instruments

The many instruments that, according to elderly informants, the Evenk used to make ñ jaw harps (out of bone or wood), wooden or reindeer-hoof rattle sticks ñ have all disappeared. Today the reindeer are called in by shaking a bag hung with reindeer hooves (mamkaruk, turukeruk). Wind instruments, usually made from birch bark, like the horn or trumpet orevun, or from willow, are today used exclusively as calls for birds, mountain goats, elk, etc. during mating season. The use of drums with resonators to ìmake the spirits come to youî is in principle reserved for the shaman, the only one who is supposed to be able to ìdealî with them, or his helper during rituals. But as of late its use has spread beyond the context of shamanism: in imitation of neighboring peoples who practice what is called ìdomestic shamanismî (Chukch, Koryak, Even), folkdance ensembles use this kind of drum; older Evenk believe this puts the dancersí lives in jeopardy. Nevertheless, children often ìplay shamanî, and the adults make costumes and drums and come to their ìgameî, which they expect to yield results (Vasilevich and Ermolova).
Similar instruments are found among other Tungus-Manchu peoples: drums, jaw harp, horn overun as well as other instruments proper to the Tungus of the Amur region like the bell belt.
Nevertheless, among the Evenk as among the Even, music is given expression primarily by various forms of song and chant, usually accompanied by dancing. For these peoples, all songs and dances are rituals.

Author(s): A. Lavrillier
Date created: 2003-09-09 - Date modified: 2004-04-14

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Orevun : Udeghe trumpet (0MB)
An Udeghe (Amur Tungus) shaman's bear dance. (0MB)
Ulch (Amur Tungus) wooden jaw harp (0MB)

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Song for my grand-mother (0MB)

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