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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ceremony as Performance: The Western Mono Cry-Dance


In this paper I attempt to show how a particular sociolinguistic method applied to ethnographic research can be valuable to the fieldworker and scholar alike. It aids the fieldworker to see the interpersonal systematics at work within a culture. It aids the scholar by giving ethnography a single, uniform method of analysis that can easily be used in cross-cultural comparisons. It also aids both to see the functions of ceremony not only from the outsider's perspective, but also from the insider's point of view. In the sections that follow, I will introduce the reader to the Western Mono, review other descriptions of the ceremony among both the Mono and surrounding tribes, describe the contemporary version of the ceremony which I experienced, and then apply a sociolinguistic method to the event for both description and analysis.

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