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April 13, 2018

The Archetype of the Singer.
Why does it feel so right for us to sing and vocalize during Oula? There is a reason we are encouraged to vocalize – to know that our voice is part of the song. But what is that underlying power that singing yields when we do it?
I’m sure many of you have read “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, but I was rereading it recently and stopped when I came across this again. It seems to get to the heart of it for us. This was being talked about in the context of an Indigenous story about a woman named La Loba who sets her soul free by singing over bones (i.e., reclaiming those long hidden parts of ourselves that we don’t necessarily want to bring to the surface). It is actually a really powerful little story that I’d encourage you to look up.
“To sing means to use the soul-voice. It means to say on the breath the truth of one’s power and one’s need, to breathe soul over the thing that is ailing or in need of restoration.
This is done by descending into the deepest mood of great love and feeling, till one’s desire for relationship with the wildish Self overflows, then to speak one’s soul from that frame of mind. That is singing over the bones.
We cannot make the mistake of attempting to elicit this great feeling of love from a lover, for this womens’ labor of finding and singing the creation hymn is a solitary work, a work carried out in the desert of the psyche.”
I like to think of us doing the solitary work of reclaiming our lives and moving toward freedom while we are processing our bodies and voices through dance. Yes, individual work, but doing it as a collective. Using our soul-voices.
-Erin E., Missoula Tribe

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