Songs of Memory: Textiles and Musical Instruments from the Golden Triangle

Friday, October 28, 2022 (All day) to Sunday, July 23, 2023 (All day)
KSU Museum
Stager/Blum Galleries

Through an extensive collection of musical instruments and costumes, photographs and video montages of rarely-seen rituals, the Songs of Memory exhibition explores the ancestral ceremonies of the mountain peoples of Southeast Asia. The Karen, Hmong, Mien, Lahu, Akha, and Lisu have passed on their knowledge from generation to generation through oral tradition. This exhibition highlights the rich diversity of these traditional peoples by showcasing their musical heritage, a vivid testament to the integrity and beauty of their unique cultures.

The work of American curator, Victoria Vorreiter, is best described as creating a “cultural Noah’s Ark.” In 2005 she made Chiang Mai, Thailand, her home, and began trekking solo to remote villages high in the mountains of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and China. A classical musician, Victoria has made it her mission to document ancestral songs, instrumental music, and ceremonial rites that mark the passages of life through film, photographs, recordings, and a book.

"Indigenous peoples in these inaccessible hills have depended for millennia on oral tradition to transmit knowledge, history, and beliefs. How long these time-honored customs can continue, with the encroachment of 21st century technology is in doubt. The aim of my work is to help preserve the majesty of these tribal rituals before they disappear,” writes Victoria Vorreiter. Songs of Memory is the result of her archival work to date.


Made possible with the generous support of Drs. Sara S. and Terry E. Miller, in memory of Drs. Margaret L. and Curtis C. Stone.

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