Inkhong, Oradi: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
Making Music Making Home: The Construction of “Home” Consciousness among Shan Migrant Communities in Thailand
Project Abstract: 
This research project explores the construction of “home” consciousness as a part of identity of Shan migrants in Chiang Mai, Thailand through their music, specifically focusing on ozi drum, a Shan long drum that is generally played in Shan cultural festivals. Ozi drum plays a vital role in creating sounds that distinguish the Shan from other ethnic groups. The drum sounds also evoke memories of place reminding Shan migrants of their homeland. Apart from signaling Shan-ness, ozi drum performances are also defined by Shan migrants as a part of Thai-Lanna culture. On the one hand, Shan migrant identity as represented through music could signify an attempt at assimilating with the host society; meanwhile, the acknowledgement of cultural borders could also create feelings of alienation and antagonism to some extent. Ultimately, this research will provide a deeper understanding of the role of music in forming migrant identity in a transnational context.