Mudcat Café message #123443 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4716   Message #123443
Posted By: M. Ted (inactive)
13-Oct-99 - 12:42 PM
Thread Name: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Research Project
Subject: RE: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Reasearch Project
I have been following the thread, waiting for my chance to throw in some suggestions about looking into Voudou and Santaria(both offer tons of great music!)--but I haven't, because I haven't quite been able to figure out if I understand the question----

It isn't clear what Mudpuppy is focussing on-- What, exactly, are Pagan/Folk/Magical and Earth Religions? How do you separate them from all the other religions?

Then there is the question of "ancient beliefs"? Do these have to be religions that exist both in the present day and in ancient times? Or can it be religions that exist in either ancient or modern times?

As Mudpuppy mentioned present day documentation if practices and rituals doesn't necessarily mean that they existed like that in the past--the problem that is for every point of time in the past, that is true as well--

Voudou in (randomly picked date) 1799 could be considerably different that of a hundred years earlier, as it undoubtably was of a hundred years later, and certainly of two hundred years later--

Of course this would also be true of the music, which may have changed even faster than other practices, because of the introduction of musicians from other cultures and new musical instruments--

The big problem that I can't figure out the "where" and "when"--cultures each exist in a place and time (We like to use terms like "Golden Age"--like"The Golden Age of Madrigals" or "The Golden Age of Religious Persecution") and of course, religious customs, rituals, etc are a product of a group of people at a given place and time--

That business about worshipping the corn god, with the soccer games where the losers were killed and the winners drank some sort of fermented hot chocolate out of their skulls, was not done everwhere in the world until the Cistercian Monks taught Christianity and that if you left home and hung out with a wildman in the forest, your hair would turn gold if you dipped it in the magic pond after being told not to (even though everyone does it) so that Joseph Campbell could use it as a cover for the shameful bigottry of his youth and Robert Bly could use it to put his grandchildren through college(I am getting carried away here, and I am sorry...)

It was part of a culture from a specific period of time--Even though some of the ritual elements may be carried as fragments into succeeding cultures (Note Frosty the Snowman's corncob pipe in our contemporary Western Christmas folklore!!!)

So anyway, I am really confused--Maybe I'll just gather up my Morris Team and go kill a few chickens--