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ESRC Festival of Social Science – Sand Drawings of Vanuatu

November 6 2012 @ 12:00 am

ESRC Festival of Social Science

Every Language Matters: Documenting and sustaining endangered languages

Tuesday, 6 November 2012, 6.15 pm

Sand Drawings of Vanuatu

Presentation and film screening with Mike Franjieh

sand paintings

Sand drawing is a unique art form only found in the Vanuatu archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean. Sand drawings are elegant geometric patterns produced directly on the ground, which serve to transmit a wealth of traditional knowledge about local history, indigenous rituals and cosmologies, kinship systems or natural phenomena. It is a unique means of communication among the members of the various language groups living in the north of the Vanuatu archipelago. It is also a multifunctional sign system that occurs in a wide range of ritual, contemplative and communicative contexts. They are listed by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, in need of safeguarding for future generations.

Mike Franjieh, is a PhD student of Linguistics at SOAS and has carried out research on the island of Ambrym in Vanuatu. He will describe the drawings and their stories and screen some of his fieldwork films and recordings.

Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Film Committee and SOAS Department of Linguistics, Endangered Language.

This is a free event but please reserve your place: RAI Film Officer, Susanne Hammacher, film@therai.org.uk



November 6 2012
12:00 am
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