Sound Mimesis in Various Cultures
Get Sound Mimesis in Various Cultures essential facts below. View Videos or join the Sound Mimesis in Various Cultures discussion. Add Sound Mimesis in Various Cultures to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Sound Mimesis in Various Cultures

The imitation of natural sounds in various cultures is a diverse phenomenon and can fill in various functions. In several instances, it is related to the belief system (yoiks of the Sami,[1][2][3][4] some other shamanic songs and rituals,[5][6][7] overtone singing of some cultures). It may serve also such practical goals as luring in the hunt;[8] or entertainment (katajjaqs of Inuit).[8][9]

Among some peoples of the Altai-Sayan region, including Tofa, the ability to mimic sounds of the environment includes hunting calls, and is present also in a traditional singing tradition preserved only by some old people.[10]



Shamanism in various cultures shows great diversity.[11] In some cultures, the music or songs related to shamanistic practice may mimic natural sounds, sometimes with onomatopoeia.[12]


The intention to mimic natural sounds is not necessarily linked to shamanistic beliefs or practice alone. Katajjaq (a "genre" of music of some Inuit groups) is a game played by women, for entertainment. In some instances, natural sounds (mostly those of animals, e.g. geese) are imitated.[8][9]

Luring animals

The kind of katajjaq mentioned above, which mimics the cry of geese, shows some similarities with the practice of the hunters to lure game.[8]

Some Inuit peoples used a tool (shaped like a claw) to scratch the ice of the frozen sea in order to attract seals.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ Szomjas-Schiffert 1996: 56, 76
  2. ^ Szomjas-Schiffert 1996: 64
  3. ^ Somby 1995 Archived 2008-03-25 at
  4. ^ Szomjas-Schiffert 1996: 74
  5. ^ Diószegi 1960: 203
  6. ^ Hoppál 2005: 92
  7. ^ Lintrop
  8. ^ a b c d Nattiez: 5
  9. ^ a b Deschênes 2002
  10. ^ "Song ond sound mimesis". Foundation for Endangered Languages.
  11. ^ Hoppál 2005: 15
  12. ^ Hoppál 2006: 143 Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Burch & Forman 1988: 56-57
  14. ^ Birket-Smith 1969: 127


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes