Fieldwork Grants : Funded Projects

Currently Funded Projects

The World Oral Literature Project is pleased to announce that its funded projects have been successfully completed.

Completed projects include:

  • Altaian Heroic Epics: Ritual Practices and Beliefs. An eight-week project in Mountain Altai to make digital audio-visual recordings of epics and heroic songs by different spiritual practitioners, as well as documenting surrounding beliefs and translating materials. Applicants: Dr Carole Pegg (University of Cambridge, Inner Asian Music & 7-Star Records), Chagat Almashev (Foundation for Sustainable Development of Altai), Professor E.E. Yamaeva (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Gorno-Altaisk State University) and Irina A. Tozyyakova (FSDA). Grant: £6,201. Status: completed in 2013; see collection here.

  • Archival Recordings of Ceremonial Chanting in the Vaupés Region, Colombia. A six-week pilot project with Tukanoan-speaking Barasana and their neighbours of the Rio Pirá-Paraná in the Vaupés region of southeastern Colombia, resulting in 17 hours of high-quality recordings of an unusually elaborate tradition of ceremonial chanting. Applicant: Dr Stephen Hugh-Jones (King's College, Cambridge). Grant: £4,000. Status: completed in 2008; applicant working on collection.

  • Archiving the Vocal Repertoire of Tashi Tsering, the Royal Singer of Lo Monthang, Mustang, Nepal. Four weeks of fieldwork with Tashi Tsering and Karma Wangyal Gurung in Mustang, Nepal, during which 51 songs from the orally transmitted Kha Lu repertoire were recorded, transcribed and translated. Applicants: Katey Blumenthal (University of Virginia) and Dr Andrea Clearfield. Grant: $10,000. Status: completed in 2009; see collection here.

  • Collection of Horchin Mongolian Folk Songs. Four weeks of fieldwork to collect traditional folk songs of the Horchin Mongols in Inner Mongolia, China. Applicant: Dr Uranchimeg B. Ujeed (SOAS and MIASU). Grant: $7,810. Status: completed; see collection here.

  • Documentation of Archaic Akha, the Register of the Akha shaman. A project to build a corpus of the religious register of the Akha shaman and to train four native-speaking Akha in language documentation and ethnographic fieldwork methods. Applicant: Jake Terrell (Department of Linguistics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa). Grant: $9,520. Status: completed; see collection here.

  • Documentation of the Tejaji Ballad Sung in Hadoti Region of Southeastern Rajasthan. A project to record the 20-hour ballad about the life and adventures of Tejaji, the Snake Deity, sung by the Mali community (gardeners) in Thikarda village of Bundi district, along with the documentation of Tejaji customs and traditions in the Hadoti region. The recordings will be transcribed and translated from Hadoti into Hindi and English, and distributed as a book and DVD. Applicants: Victoria Singh (Kota Heritage Society) and Dr Madan Meena (Artist and Researcher). Grant: $7,834.85. Status: completed; see collection here.

  • Documenting Ifugao Oral Literature Genres. Six weeks of fieldwork to describe the main oral literature genres of the Ifugao, an Austronesian- speaking people of the Northern Philippines, under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, Lagawe. Representative examples of each genre will be recorded in audio and video and transcribed, with both the text and music and presented on a DVD. Full written outputs will be posted on the web. Applicants: Dr Roger Blench (Kay Williamson Educational Foundation), Iza Campos (Center for Ethnomusicology, University of the Philippines). Collaborators include Manuel Dulawan (Kiangan) and Lily Luglug-Beyer (Banaue). Grant: $9,736. Status: completed; applicant is finalising metadata.

  • Documenting Torwali Oral Literature. A year-long project to collect, record, transcribe and translate Torwali oral literature with the full participation of the community, building on the ongoing Torwali dictionary project supported by National Geographic. The genres include poetry, folk stories, life histories, local historical lore, riddles, proverbs and idioms. Applicant: Inam Ullah (Research Officer, Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology, National University, Lahore, Pakistan). Grant: $7,010. Status: completed; materials archived.

  • Field Documentation of Oral Literature in Malawi. A project undertaking the systematic audio documentation of story-telling in southern Malawi. Three languages are to be targeted: Ciyao, Elomwe and Cisena, with researchers focussing on village communities in which story-telling and other forms of oral literature (e.g. riddling sessions by children) are still living traditions. Applicant: Dr Moya Aliya Malamusi (Oral Literature Research Programme, Chileka, Malawi). Grant: $7,805. Status: finalisation of materials underway.

  • Oral History of Nubri’s Ngadag Lineage. A project to record, transcribe and translate the oral literature of the Ngadag Lamas of Nubri, Nepal. Applicants: Geoff Childs (Washington University in St. Louis) and Lama Jigme Tsewang Namgyal (Ngedön Öseling Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal). Grant: $7,750. Status: finalisation of report and materials underway.

  • Oral Literature of the Mudugar and Kurumbar of Attappady. Ethnographic documentation of the literature and culture of the indigenous Mudugar and Kurumbar communities, Palakkad District, Kerala, using digital video, audio and photography. Follow the work through the online blog of the Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady. Applicant: Rayson K. Alex (Secretary, Organisation for Studies in Literature and Environment-India). Grant: $7,018. Status: completed; see collection here.

  • Oral Literature of the Northeast Sino-Tibetan Frontier. A year-long project to train five local researchers to digitally document oral literature from five locations in the northeast Sino-Tibetan frontier, a region of undocumented, endangered cultural and linguistic diversity. Each of the researchers will write an article introducing the local culture and provide comprehensive examples of oral literature. Digital materials will be repatriated to the concerned communities. Applicants: Dr Kevin Stuart, Gerald Roche and Dr Tshe dbang rdo rje. Grant: $9,960. Status: completed; see one of the collections here.

  • Preservation of Mongghul Oral History: The Ha Clan. A digital documentation project on the oral history of the Ha clan combined with interviews relating to Mongghul religious beliefs and narratives of clan migration. Applicants: Sangjie Zhaxi and Ha Mingzhu. Grant: $1,860. Status: completed; see collection here.

  • The Oral Literature and Communicative Practices of the Inughuit People. A project running up to one year to document the endangered oral traditions of the Inughuit people living in remote north-west Greenland. The future of this entire community is now uncertain as global warming threatens their ancient way of life. As well as documenting vanishing spoken traditions, the project will analyse the verbal behaviour and communicative practices of speakers of the Inughuit (Inuktun) dialect. Applicant: Dr Stephen Pax Leonard (Trinity Hall, Cambridge). Grant: $10,000. Status: completed; see a sample from the collection here.