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date: 21 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores intersections of human and archival modes of memory in moments of archival repatriation. It recounts two repatriation experiences involving materials from the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music (ATM)—one in which the author traveled to West Africa to repatriate media recorded in 1934 (around which this chapter is centered), and a second involving Assiniboine sisters from Saskatchewan rediscovering a lost song in the ATM’s listening library (with which the chapter concludes). Human and archival histories are mutually informative; as such, moments when people bring the two modes together also can become moments of new memory creation. The chapter argues that repatriation, understood as a meeting point of human and archival memory, can be deeply meaningful because archives are extensions of humanity. When the two modes of memory, archival and human, are brought into conversation, the result can be powerful, augmenting the potency and value of each.

Keywords: memory, repatriation, archives, griot, jeli, Laura Boulton, Mandé, Assiniboine

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