Myth of White Prophet - complete version
Canto de Profeta Blanco - versión completa
|Subject Language||Kuna, San Blas |
|Language PID(s)||ailla:119499 |
|Title [Indigenous]||Nele Sipu Ikar - Pela|
|Language of Indigenous Title||cuk|
|Title||Myth of White Prophet - complete version|
|Place Created||Mulatuppu, Kuna Yala|
|Language of Indigenous Description|
|Description||I recorded the chief’s chant and spokesman’s translation of the myth of Nele Sipu (White Prophet in the Mulatuppu gathering house. The myth was chanted by Olowitinappi, a chief from the western region of San Blas who at the time was visiting the island of Sasartii-Mulatuppu. The responding chief was Mantiwekinya of Mulaltuppu. The myth of White Prophet is one of several Kuna myths which are frequently performed in western San Blas and while known in general terms by ritual specialists in the east, chiefs and spokesmen on eastern islands such as Sasartii-Mulatuppu for the most part do not include them in their performance repertoires. This is one of the the fascinating aspects of this particular event, since the Mulatuppu spokesman, Armando González, had to translate, reformulate, and explain a myth he was not particularly familiar with and under usual circumstances never performs. |
The myth of White Prophet describes the wonders of life in the Kuna afterworld. Its moralistic purpose is to remind the gathered audience, especially the women, to behave properly in this world. The description and counsel are all encoded in the words of White Prophet, one of the first great leaders of the Kuna, who is taken on a preview tour of the afterworld.
The myth is not a fixed text. Each performer has a certain degree of freedom in manipulating its structure in actual performance. In this sense, the chanting by chiefs differs from the performance of magical chants, also often myth-like, which are much more fixed in form. The spokesman, Armando, by providing his own retelling, by adding still another version to the chief’s version, although based on and derived from the chief’s performance which has just occurred, both maintained the tradition of the myth and contributed to its open and flexible structure.
The entire performance is presented here, along with a transcription and translation in a notebook, which has multiple contributors. The opening portion of the performance and the first episode of the story are presented in chapter 3 of VERBAL ART IN SAN BLAS, also located in this archive.<.
The chant is preceded by a short discussion among men in the gathering house.
CUK001R002I001.pdf = handwritten transcription & translation. This is the second version.
CUK001R002I201.pdf = notebook transcription & translation. This is the first version.
CUK001R002I301.pdf = digital transcription & translation. This is the third and best version.
CUK001R002I700.pdf = Dr. Sherzer's commentary on the last set of texts:
I801 = Chief Olowiktinappi chants - kuna;
I802 = Chief Olowiktinappi chants - english;
I803 = Chief Olowiktinappi chants - english, with notes indicating where the chief is quoting others;
I804 = spokesman Armando interprets - kuna;
I805 = Armando interprets - english;
I806 = Armando interprets - english, with notes indicating where the spokesman is quoting others.
|Source Note||log 1.4; ATM # 94-229-F|
|Contributor(s) Individual / Role||Lanni (Contributor) |
Olowiktinappi (Actor, performer)
Gutiérrez, Armando (Translator)
Sherzer, Joel (Researcher)
|Contributor(s) Corporate / Role|