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Chest beatinglocked

  • Sally Sanford

Extract

Technique of body percussion. Known as peh dada on the island of Aceh (the northernmost province of Indonesia), it involves beating one’s hands or fists rhythmically against one’s upper ribs. Early 18th-century sources associate chest beating in Aceh with laments (phô) and royal mourning rituals that are now also found in other Shi’a areas, such as Iran and Iraq. Kartomi indicates that it is generally considered to be a ‘centuries-old tradition essentially native to Aceh’, but chest beating is a primitive, widespread mode of acoustic communication, practised by gorillas as well as humans....

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