Singing, Dancing, and Identity in the Karen Diaspora
Karen refugees from Burma/Myanmar, now living in diaspora, perform two iconic dances: the bamboo dance and the don dance. These dances—which involve singing in Karen languages, playing traditional Karen instruments, wearing Karen dress, and enacting gestures that symbolize village life in Burma—allow Karen young people to practice the habits of “Karen-ness.” The dances are rehearsed and performed in order to inculcate a sense of Karen identity in the participants, most of whom have never seen Karen State. This article is based on fieldwork conducted among Karen migrants in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press
University of Texas Press
MacLachlan, Heather, "Singing, Dancing, and Identity in the Karen Diaspora" (2014). Music Faculty Publications. 29.