Abstract

This article explores the songs and dances recorded by Barbara B. Smith in the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the former US-administered region of Micronesia. The article examines Smith's collaborations with Micronesians in Hawai‘i in the late 1950s and early 1960 as well as her 1963–1964 recording project undertaken across the Trust Territory. In exploring Micronesian voices within the political machinations of the time, the article investigates the entanglement of ethnomusicology within the American colonial administration of the Pacific. With the 1963–1964 recordings as a window into this period, I listen for Indigenous autonomy that sounds out from these historical reproductions. I contend that the broader contribution of 1960s ethnomusicology in Micronesia lies in the sonic chronicle of sovereign voices, in which communities sang together and past American colonial interventions in the Pacific.

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