In NONAM’s soundscape, the borealis is blowing over the tundra, mysterious calls waft over from the Pacific Ocean, children sing, artists carve wooden masks, the echo of a drum is heard through the Canyon de Chelly. We present the worlds of the indigenous peoples of North America to our visitors – but not to their eyes, for once, only to their ears. Explore the sounding ambiance of the Inuit at the polar circle, the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) at the pacific northwest coast of Canada and the Hopi and Navajo in the southwest of the United States.
Native Americans and Inuit did not use literary language originally. Receiving and transmitting information was mainly based on acoustic communication and oral tradition. The sense of hearing was often essential for survival, as it does not fail us in the dark or when we sleep. Nowadays, we send and receive electronical data without the necessity of hearing. We tend to forget how much information we gather – directly and unprocessed – with our ears.