The Hallowed Summoning of Tradition: Body Techniques in Construction of the Sacred Tanbur of Western Iran
- Anthropological Quarterly
- George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
- Volume 80, Number 1, Winter 2007
- pp. 173-205
- Additional Information
In this article, drawing on my fieldwork in the Farmáni workshop in western Iran, I focus on the socially and ideologically informed body techniques of crafting the sacred lute-type tanbur. I show that the superiority of Farmáni tanburs transcends the family's pure Weberian "traditional authority" within the Ahl-e Haqq of Gurán; rather, this superiority is established upon Farmáni's informed body techniques that enable construction of unblemished tanburs, as the Ahl-e Haqq understand them. In order to provide insight into the Farmáni's embodied knowledge tradition, Barth's anthropology of knowledge framework, Marcel Mauss's concept of "body techniques" and Charles Hirschkind's notion of "perceptual capacities" are employed. Engaging the dialectical of the modern demands for more voluminous sound and the Farmáni's technical modification crafting the instrument, I contemplate the question of tradition in terms of "continuities of disciplined sensibility."