Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
This paper examines "soundings" inspired and based from non-human sources of the indigenous Ainu people of Japan. Ainu vocalizations and soundings maintain wide social awareness that includes humans and non-humans. Ainu narratives focus on animals that engage with humans, such as the now-extinct Japanese wolf, and crosses divisions of minority/dominant society by pointing to common origins, histories, and worldview between the Ainu and the Japanese. As illustrated by the Ainu/Japanese encounter, this paper will address broad perspectives of non-human agency in soundings, and non-human agency as a counter-narrative to post colonialism.