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Storytelling in Siberia: The Olonkho Epic in a Changing World
Published by University of Illinois Press
Olonkho , the epic narrative and song tradition of Siberia 's Sakha people, declined to the brink of extinction during the Soviet era. In 2005, UNESCO 's Masterpiece Proclamation sparked a resurgence of interest in olonkho by recognizing its important role in humanity 's oral and intangible heritage. Drawing on her ten years living in the Russian North, Robin P. Harris documents how the Sakha have used the Masterpiece program to revive olonkho and strengthen their cultural identity. Harris 's personal relationships with and primary research among Sakha people provide vivid insights into understanding olonkho and the attenuation, revitalization, transformation, and sustainability of the Sakha 's cultural reemergence. Interdisciplinary in scope, Storytelling in Siberia considers the nature of folklore alongside ethnomusicology, anthropology, comparative literature, and cultural studies to shed light on how marginalized peoples are revitalizing their own intangible cultural heritage.
Robin P. Harris is an assistant professor at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics and serves as the director of GIAL 's Center for Excellence in World Arts.
Reviewer: Paul Doolan
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