The Sound of Navajo Country: Music, Language, and Diné Belonging

UNC Press Books
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In this ethnography of Navajo (Diné) popular music culture, Kristina M. Jacobsen examines questions of Indigenous identity and performance by focusing on the surprising and vibrant Navajo country music scene. Through multiple first-person accounts, Jacobsen illuminates country music’s connections to the Indigenous politics of language and belonging, examining through the lens of music both the politics of difference and many internal distinctions Diné make among themselves and their fellow Navajo citizens. As the second largest tribe in the United States, the Navajo have often been portrayed as a singular and monolithic entity. Using her experience as a singer, lap steel player, and Navajo language learner, Jacobsen challenges this notion, showing the ways Navajos distinguish themselves from one another through musical taste, linguistic abilities, geographic location, physical appearance, degree of Navajo or Indian blood, and class affiliations. By linking cultural anthropology to ethnomusicology, linguistic anthropology, and critical Indigenous studies, Jacobsen shows how Navajo poetics and politics offer important insights into the politics of Indigeneity in Native North America, highlighting the complex ways that identities are negotiated in multiple, often contradictory, spheres.

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About the author

Kristina M. Jacobsen is assistant professor of music and anthropology (ethnology) at the University of New Mexico. She also cofacilitates the UNM honky-tonk ensemble, is a touring singer/songwriter, and fronts the all-girl honky-tonk band Merlettes. All author proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Navajo Nation Museum.

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Additional Information

Publisher
UNC Press Books
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Published on
Feb 22, 2017
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781469631875
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Country & Bluegrass
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the Hardcover edition.
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