1. The literature on this issue is so vast that no particular reference would be of any specific use to the reader. What deserves special attention though is, in my opinion, the literature that has been produced in conformity with the interpretive paradigm in the social sciences (e.g. Ortner 1984, Rabinow and Sullivan 1979, Bourdieu 1977). Another thematic unity of special importance for the discussion of the relationship between culture and ethnography in anthropology could be traced in the field of linguistic anthropology, most notably in the ethnography of speaking, ethnopoetics and performance theory orientations (e.g. Dell Hymes 1974 and 1981, Bauman 1984, Bauman and Briggs 1990, Bauman and Sherzer 1989).

2. The literature is quite extensive. A particular instance of such criticism emerged from what could be considered as a postmodernist turn in anthropology in general and ethnography in particular. On the issue of representation, the crisis of representation in anthropology and ethnography from a postmodernist perspective, see, mainly, Clifford and Marcus (1986), Marcus and Fischer (1986) and Clifford (1988).

3. I use the term “symbolic” in its sense of “bringing together” or “bridging”. Thus, any reference to the symbolic in this vein may imply, apart from the act of joining itself as an abstract quality, the entities to be joined. If this is the case, “symbolic” loses its general meaning and acquires a particular significance. It becomes the mediation making the encounter possible and, on another level of reference, it emerges as a distinct modality relating the reality of the particular encounter.

4. My purpose here is not to dwell on the literature on “dialogue” and “the dialogic,” but to define these terms anew, so that the reader can follow the ensuing presentation. The great theorists of “dialogue” and “the dialogic,” first and foremost, Mikhail Bakhtin (and Volosinov), Georg Gadamer, Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas, have all played a significant role in helping me to construct the conceptual framework I have developed here. Special reference to their work will be given where necessary in this text.

5. On dialogism and the dialogical principle, see Bakhtin (1981) and Todorov (1984).

6. The anthropological approaches to the dialogic do not necessarily focus on language. Moving away from such a logocentric view of the dialogic,  Steven Feld’s ethnographic work on the music of the Kaluli (Papua New Guinea) and world music, as well as on the experience and expression of sound in particular constitutes a significant theoretical alternative for dialogical anthropology (Feld 1998, 1987 and 1982; Keil and Feld 1994).

7. On Bakhtin’s distinction between dialectic and the dialogic, see Todorov (1984: 104).

8. On social power and dialogical singing in association with the cultural conflict between the farmers and emigrants in Olymbos, see Kavouras (1993, 1992 and 1991). Another case in point is the transformation of the cultural role of the ghlendi musician, as singer and player of music, to the modern role of the musician as an individual who performs on stage and makes (and sells) his own CD audios as a “genuine traditional artist.” On the musical multivicality of a modern ghlendi musician, see Kavouras (1994b). For a discussion of the culture of Karpathos from a perspective which is critical of a pan-Mediterranean culture area, see Kavouras (1995); on social and musical change in Karpathos in association with networks of power and culture, see Kavouras (1997a).

9. On the notion of “staged authenticity,” see MacCannell (1992: 298); for an ethnographic use of this notion in an anthropological study of ghana, a cultural form of dialogical singing in Malta, see Sant Cassia (2000).

10. On the ghlendi of Olymbos, Karpathos, see Kavouras (1996a, 1994a, 1994b, 1992 and, especially, 1991). I am not reproducing here the literature on the Olymbos ghlendi, as I am not interested in laying out a thick description and a thorough ethnographic analysis of the phenomenon in question. For an ethnographic documentation of the ghlendi, see the references cited above.

11. In his discussion of ghana, Paul Sant Cassia (2000) argues that the conceptualization of ghana (and tradition in general) differs radically depending on whether ghana (or tradition) is perceived as an ordinary or, alternatively, an extraordinary expression of culture. This view is useful in the particular context of the analysis employed by Sant Cassia. However, it is not applicable in the case of the Olymbos ghlendi. What I call “extraordinary” in my perception of the ghlendi is, of course, a personal realization which, nevertheless, has a social justification: the “extraordinary” aspects of the ghlendi are not implied, but actually performed in its context.  The ghlendi process itself, as well as the experience of its symbolic transformations defy both in part and on the whole any attempts to render the distinction between the “ordinary” and the “extraordinary” aspects of dialogical singing as epistemological modalities of postmodernist as opposed to modernist conceptualizations of the past.

12. On the notion of paroussia, see Kavouras (1994a, 1992, 1992 and 1991).

13. On the relationship between gender, especially female gender, and dialogical singing in Olymbos, see Kavouras (1994a, 1993, 1992 and 1991).

14. In this context, as well as throughout the present text, the notion of paroussia should be understood as a symbolic modality. The use of the term may refer to either a particular performance of paroussia in the context of, say, a particular ghlendi, or to the structural feeling of paroussia in general, perceived as a distinct reality of Olymbos culture. Usually, both meanings fuse to produce complex associations and responses either in a ghlendi or elsewhere, whenever the invocation of the experience of paroussia is appropriate.

15. On the Olymbos dance in the context of the ghlendi, see Kavouras (1994a, 1993, 1992 and 1991).

16. On the ghlendi in Lesbos, see Kavouras (2000), Papageorgiou (2000) and Dionysopoulos (1997a).

17. On the interaction between Lesbos and Asia Minor, Smyrna in particular, in regards with the economy, culture and especially, music, see Papageorgiou (2000), Htouris and Varkaraki (2000) and Dionysopoulos (1997a).

18. Dionysopoulos (1997a and 1997b).

19. On the plomaritikos tune and the music culture of the Plomari district , see Kavouras (2000), Papageorgiou (2000) and Dionysopoulos ( 1997a and 1997b).

20. On the actual historical conditions informing the social experience of misery, inequality and class struggle in Plomari, see Kavouras (2000), Htouris and Varkaraki (2000). The use of the present tense in relating the story of the plomaritikos may help to fictionalize the historical particularities of its usage, fusing various elements of different substance and origin into new narrative entities. Doing so, however, is not entirely a novelistic practice. Ethnographic justification for using the present tense to relate social experiences of sorrow through the singing of the plomaritikos derives from similar practices observed locally in the context of the ghlendi in Plomari.

21. On the mandinadha as an expression of both nostalgia for the ghlendi and alienation due to xenitia (the state of being foreigner), see Kavouras (1996a, 1996b, 1993, 1992 and 1991).

22. On the musical aspect of the dialogical singing of the plomaritikos, see Dionysopoulos (19971 and 1997b) and Kavouras (2000).

23. On the historical transformation of the dialogical singing and the dialogical ghlendi in Lesbos, see Kavouras (2000).

24. Kavouras (2000).

25. For a full account and a detailed critical analysis of the dramaturgical representation of the dialogical ghlendi in Skala, Lesbos as staged authenticity, see Kavouras (2000).

26. See, for example, the biographical story on a musician from Thrace, Greece (Kavouras 1999), in which the musician’s life stories about himself are juxtaposed in order to synthesize a narrative that accounts for his multiple ontologies, both as a local person and as a musician. In this biographical narrative, the musical instruments he likes to play are transformed to symbolic modalities which, in turn, help to demonstrate the musician’s symbolic use of language as an act of relating his life world.

27. For a critical discussion of ethnographic authority in general and in relation to Goethe’s Faust and reflexive ethnomusicology in particular, see Kavouras (1996b and 2003).

28. On ethnographic allegory, see Clifford (1986).

Main page