Friday, March 27, 2009


I was listening to a folk musician/storyteller interview the other day on NPR's music website. I can't remember if it was part of the SXSW stuff they have on there or if it was just a link I lucked upon from their page of SXSW coverage, but either way, it was good stuff.

And then, I had some weird epiphany about fieldwork- If you recall, for several years now I've been planning on studying paleo Indian migrations. This stems from my fascinations with Asian culture, philosophy, and art, nomadic Siberian tribal life (origin of the word shaman comes from a group of these people, the Saman), the northwestern United States (in general), and my own South American heritage.

Kind of a wild mish-mash of reasons to want to study migration, but the other reason is as clear as day to me; I was a little kid and I came home from school with much enthusiasm about the Bering Strait. I think enthusiasm is a little weak for how I felt, I was so excited about this new information, I thought I might faint, or explode.

Anyways, I was listening to this interview and I thought (though not for the first time) about how when people migrate, they bring actual things with them which WILL show in the archaeological record, but they also bring ideas with them. One of the best papers I've ever written was about this.

And then I suddenly wanted scrap archaeology for scientific/cultural study. Creating a phylogeny, an evolutionary tree, of sorts for folk songs/stories (I'd be focusing on many different factors; tempo, range, word count, structure, and of course theme). From Korea through Central America.

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