Discover the Inuit throat singers breathing new life into tradition and captivating fresh audiences

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Meet the Inuit throat singers revitalizing the tradition and engaging new audiences



“Unveiling the Resurgence of Inuit Throat Singing”

Throat singing, an ancient cultural practice of the Inuit community, almost faded into oblivion due to colonialist pressures from the Canadian government and the Catholic Church. However, the revival of this traditional art form by a new generation of Inuit youth is now sparking a cultural renaissance to celebrate and preserve Inuit heritage.

Reimagining Tradition: A New Wave of Innovation

PIQSIQ, an electronic throat singing duo comprised of sisters Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk McKay, is at the forefront of this cultural resurgence. Rooted in Nunavut but raised in Yellowknife, N.W.T., the sisters infuse their music with a modern twist while honoring their heritage. By blending throat singing with Celtic, rock’n’roll, country, folk, and electronic music, they are pushing boundaries and exploring innovative ways to keep the tradition alive.

The Origin Story: Nurturing Identity Through Song

When asked to describe throat singing, throat singer Nikki Komaksiutiksak recalls the tale her grandmother shared with her – a story of survival and sustenance in the face of adversity. For Komaksiutiksak, throat singing is not only a cultural practice but also an art form, a bonding activity, and a competition that fosters connection and resilience.

Overcoming Shame and Suppression

Ayalik and McKay’s journey into throat singing was initially met with discomfort and secrecy due to the shame associated with the practice. The legacy of colonialist policies that banned cultural expressions like throat singing in schools and public spaces cast a shadow over the art form. However, the perseverance of trailblazers like Aisa Qupiqrualuk paved the way for a revival of throat singing in Inuit communities.

Empowering the Next Generation

For Komaksiutiksak, passing the tradition of throat singing down to her daughters, Chasity and Caramello Swan, is a way to nurture their Inuit identity and heritage. Through the vibrations of song, the sisters find solace and connection to their roots, bridging the gap between past and present. As they continue to sing together, they hope to inspire future generations to embrace and celebrate their Inuit culture.

Looking Forward: A Harmonious Future

As the momentum of cultural revival gains traction, Ayalik and McKay envision a future where shame surrounding throat singing dissipates, allowing the beauty and richness of this tradition to shine through. Through collaboration and exploration, they hope to see younger generations embrace and reimagine throat singing, breathing new life into an ancient practice.

In a world where heritage and identity are constantly evolving, the reclamation of Inuit throat singing serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and vitality of Indigenous cultures. As we harmonize the past with the present, may the echoes of throat singing reverberate through generations, weaving a tapestry of cultural pride and unity.”



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