Ethnographic wax cylinders
Dance of Dead Man
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Haddon, A.C. and Myers, C.S.
Torres Strait Cylinder C56 (also D29). Myers' notation: Song XI: Mabuiag. 1. Indecipherable announcement. 2. Unaccompanied male vocal solo. Inscription on insert notes: 'Waitana nga puikaik / Dance of Dead man / 56 T.S. [ie cylinder C56]'. The Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait in 1898 was led by Professor A.C. Haddon. The other members of the team were Charles Seligman (originally trained in medicine) C.S. Myers (psychologist and musician), W.H.R. Rivers (who also originally trained in medicine), W.M. Dougall, A. Wilkin and Sidney Ray. This was the first British expedition to use the phonograph for research purposes, although J. Walter Fewkes was using the equipment in the United States as early as 1890 to record Passamaquoddy Indians. Although the expedition was groundbreaking, the sound quality of the collection is not as good as others in the Ethnographic Wax Cylinder Collection, most likely because of the lack of experience in sound recording amongst the team.