Accepted paper:

Imagining and remembering on a herdsman's mountain path in the Karakoram Range


Thibault Fontanari (Catholic University of Louvain)

Paper short abstract:

The paper describes the singular spaces and times of singing and walking by which the inhabitants of a village in the Karakoram Range remember a herdsman’s exemplary actions and imagine their future.

Paper long abstract:

The paper attempts to understand how the herdsmen of a village in the Karakoram Range in northern Pakistan imagine and remember by walking and singing. Remembering is intimately related to their walk on the mountain paths towards the pastures. At the time of their construction, these paths are named after a deceased or an elder and become thereby prayer and remembrance places. The person for whom the path is built is sometimes praised in a song. These songs tell the story of a herdsman's journey and emphasize the exemplary actions he made such as facing a storm, leading a herd or crossing a cold river. The paper attempts to consider singing and walking as two related ways by which people remember the exemplary actions of a herdsman and by which they imagine their future in the world. Remembering and imagining are here rooted in the singular spaces and times of walking and singing by which people dwell in the world.

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Dwelling in musical movement: making a home both in and through music