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Multicultural Resources for High School Students  

Throat Singing Music in Inuit Culture

Originally, Inuit throat singing was a form of entertainment among Inuit women while the men were away on hunting trips. It was an activity that was primarily done by Inuit women although there have been some men doing it as well. In the Inuit language Inuktitut, throat singing is called katajjaq, pirkusirtuk or nipaquhiit depending on the Canadian Arctic region. It was regarded more as a type of vocal or breathing game in the Inuit culture rather than a form of music.

Inuit throat singing is generally done by two individuals but can involve four or more people together as well. In Inuit throat singing, two Inuit women would face each other either standing or crouching down while holding each other's arms. One would lead with short deep rhythmic sounds while the other would respond. The leader would repeat sounds with short gaps in between. The follower would fill in these gaps with her own rhythmic sounds. Sometimes both Inuit women would be doing a dance like movement like rocking from left to right while throat singing.

                  Click here to hear for a video of Inuit Throat Singing

 

 

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