The Fiddlers of James Bay: Transatlantic Flows and Musical Indigenization among the James Bay Cree

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Fiddle music and dancing has formed a major component of the social lives of the Algonquian First-Nations Cree population living in the James Bay region of Ontario and Québec since the instrument and its associated repertoire were introduced to the region by British (and most notably Scottish) employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) who travelled across on ships which sailed annually from London to James Bay via Orkney from the late seventeenth until the twentieth century. Based on archive research and ongoing fieldwork in the region since 2011, the aim of this paper is to explore this transatlantic musical migration from the British Isles to James Bay and the re-shaping and re-formation of Scottish fiddle music and dance through indigenisation into the Cree cultural milieu. By examining this area of cultural flow, the paper aims to engage with current themes in ethnomusicology on the subject and add to the growing body of knowledge surrounding it. It will be illustrated with the use of photographs, video, and audio from recent field recordings and interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2013
EventBritish Forum of Ethnomusicology One-Day Conference - Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Oct 201319 Oct 2013

Conference

ConferenceBritish Forum of Ethnomusicology One-Day Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityCardiff
Period19/10/1319/10/13

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    Wilkins, F. (2013). The Fiddlers of James Bay: Transatlantic Flows and Musical Indigenization among the James Bay Cree. Paper presented at British Forum of Ethnomusicology One-Day Conference, Cardiff, United Kingdom.