D'Albuquerque's Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia's Portuguese Settlement (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)

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9780226734989: D'Albuquerque's Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia's Portuguese Settlement (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
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When the Portuguese seafarer Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the bustling port of Malacca in 1511, he effectively gained control of the entire South China Sea spice trade. Although their dominance lasted only 130 years, the Portuguese legacy lies at the heart of a burgeoning tourist attraction on the outskirts of the city, in which performers who believe they are the descendants of swashbuckling Portuguese conquerors encapsulate their "history" in a cultural stage show.

Using historical and ethnographic data, Margaret Sarkissian reveals that this music and dance draws on an eclectic array of influences that span the Portuguese diaspora (one song conjures up images of Lucille Ball impersonating Carmen Miranda on "I Love Lucy"). Ironically, she shows, what began as a literate tradition in the 1950s has now become an oral one so deeply rooted in Settlement life that the younger generation, like the tourists, now see it as an unbroken heritage stretching back almost 500 years. A fascinating case of "orientalism in reverse," D'Albuquerque's Children illuminates the creative ways in which one community has adapted to life in a postcolonial world.

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About the Author:

Margaret Sarkissian is an associate professor of music at Smith College.

From Library Journal:

This study explores the use of performance in festivals and cultural shows to represent the Portuguese heritage of the Eurasian minority in Malaysia. Sarkissian (music, Smith Coll.) argues that Malaysia's heterogeneous Eurasian population latched onto its Portuguese identity when the expression of British identity, previously seen as a sign of elite status, became a sensitive issue at the end of the colonial age. Repertoires of Portuguese-style music and dance, now presented to outsiders as though they have been handed down over the generations since perhaps 1511, have, in reality, only been cobbled together since 1952. Moreover, they reflect intentional strategies on the part of Eurasians to create an acceptable image for their community in modern Malaysia. This book is informative, interestingly written, and up-to-date in its theoretical outlook. A solid contribution to ongoing debates in anthropology about identity and representation in the postcolonial world; recommended for academic libraries and collections in the performing arts, cultural studies, tourism, and Southeast Asian studies.DJay H. Bernstein, Fordham Univ. Lib., Bronx, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. 2nd ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. When the Portuguese seafarer Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the bustling port of Malacca in 1511, he effectively gained control of the entire South China Sea spice trade. Although Portuguese dominance lasted only 130 years, its legacy lies at the heart of a burgeoning tourist attraction on the outskirts of the city, in which performers who believe they are the descendants of swashbuckling Portuguese conquerors encapsulate their "history" in a cultural stage show. Using historical and ethnogrpahic data, Margaret Sarkissian reveals that this music and dance draws on an eclectic array of influences that span the Portuguese diaspora (one song conjures up images of Lucille Ball impersonating Carmen Miranda on "I Love Lucy"). Ironically, she shows, what began as a literate tradition in the 1950s has now become an oral one so deeply rooted in Settlement life that the younger generation, like the tourists, now sees it as an unbroken heritage stretching back almost 500 years. A fascinating case of "orientalism in reverse", "D'Albuquerque's Children" illuminates the creative ways in which one community has adapted to life in a post-colonial world. Seller Inventory # BTE9780226734989

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