DRW notes from students
(Jason was in my World Cultures class and did a cross-cultural study of soul loss)
I was in your cross cultural studies class at UCI. Check this out! I was doing a reading for my public sector ethnomusicology class and I just happened to stumble across these quotes!
"The Pintupi believed that songs are captured, not composed, by a man's spirit while he sleeps. During the night, the spirit slips out of the man's body to wander the earth. As part of these wanderings, the spirit searches for new songs to capture. At the end of the night, the spirit, with its successfully captured song, reenters the sleeping man. The man awakens to remember every detail of the song and is able to mimic the spirit's music. ( p.62 quoted from Moyle 1979)
This description is close to soul loss, but the Suyas go even further.
"The Suyas believe that plants and animals compose music, not people. Essentially, under Suya lore, witches live in the forest, snatching men's spirits and filming them into animal communities, plants or other natural objects. If the spirit does not free itself and return, the man becomes a "person without a spirit." He will continue to live in the Suya village, but will be able to hear the spirit singing the songs of its host. By mimicking his spirit's singing, the man can teach new songs." ( p.64 quoted from Seeger 1987)