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The Living Symbol of Song in West Papua: A Soul Force to be Reckoned With

From: Indonesia
Number 95, April 2013
pp. 73-91 | 10.1353/ind.2013.0000



Song serves as a living symbol of collective identity through which liberational dignity is practiced in Indonesia's province of West Papua. The participative power of song has maintained an ideological "notion state" (Webster, 2001) which has sustained Papuan dignity and identity through Dutch and Indonesian occupation. This article traces the formation of Papuan collective identity through song, beginning with the Koreri movement of 1939-43 under the leadership of Angganeka Manufandu, reigniting in the music of Arnold Ap during the years of Indonesia's arguably genocidal "New Order" government (1965-98), and continuing into the present with current Papuan musical movements that reinforce identity and dignity.

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