Alcheringa, New Series, 1977, vol.3 no. 1   

Edition Year Editor Pages Download
Volume Three, Issue One New Series, 1977 Dennis Tedlock 152 PDF, 6.5 MB
    Editorial Assistant: Paul Kahn
  Contributing Editors: David Antin, Kofi Awoonor, Ulli Beier,
  Alan F. Burns, Stanley Diamond, Charles Doria, Everett Fox,
  Dell Hymes, Robert Kelly, Harris Lenowitz, David P. McAllester,
  William Mullen, Simon Ortiz, Gary Snyder, Nathaniel Tarn,
  Jeff Titon

IMAGE 152 OF 152



Side 1, MP3, 8.9 MB  
Hotoke-Oroshi (manifesting spirits of the dead), Jiz§ Festival, 1953, recording copyright 1976 N.H.K. (Japan), reproduced with permission

Side 2, MP3, 8.9 MB  
Alonzo Gonzales Mó, from The Deer Secret, June 16, 1972, recorded by Allan Burns

Drum Language

Steve McCaffery

[...] To summarize. What I'm suggesting is a primacy of text to the archaic mind and of the drum's linguistic and magical relationship to text along metonymic grounds as part to whole, along in fact the lines of sympathetic magic that reads a text by rules of drawn similitudes. That is, by imitation you rhyme and by rhyming the desired result you actually produce it. Drum is anchored in this power of rhyme and metonym; it is both its form and its language; it strikes the vibratory sympathy of part to whole, hitting the rhyme of telluric sound with the text that is sky. To treat reality as text, the dance of the sky, earth's change through seasons in predictable and sympathetic rhyme as syntax, cosmos and syntax as order alike, then any world change must become an activity of text and life a dwelling in that reading. It is this dwelling that orality appears, embodied in ritual it takes the form of a celebration of that text, an honour by assembling to perpetuate. There is implicit here a quality of text that's finally being explored in branches of modern poetics: the dependence of text upon an active reader, a reader in the role more of producer than consumer, equipped with his sensitivity and in the task assigned him to function both as hermeneutist and as celebrator. Ritual I take as a reading with prophylactic intention, a reading to preserve text as text is the source of all interpretable order. Without such a reading a text self-destructs as sensitive oecologists have realized; the cosmos reverting from order to chaos, that state of text-less indifferentiation


                  infinite     hiss.