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October 22, 2019 34 mins

What is it about certain musical traditions that cause them to take root in communities far away from where they originated? Anthropologist Kristina Jacobsen leads SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell on a musical journey into the U.S. Southwest to understand the phenomenon that is Navajo country music. In addition to authoring the book The Sound of Navajo Country: Music, Language, and Diné Belonging, Jacobsen is a singer-songwriter. This episode includes one of her songs and a number of others she learned about during her time on the Navajo Nation.

Listen to more music by Dennis Yazzie and the Night Breeze Band here. For more on Navajo country music, read Jacobsen's article at SAPIENS: “Why Navajos Love Their Country Music.

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.

Music for this episode includes:

  • “Selja Star” by Ken Jacobsen
  • “El Tajo,” “Moon Bicycle Theme,” “FasterFasterBrighter,” “Villano,” “Waltz for Zacaria” by Blue Dot Sessions
  • “In Transit,” “Chads Story” by Matthew Simonson
  • “Room at the Top of the Stairs,” “Wanted Man,” “Made in Japan” by Dennis Yazzie and the Night Breeze Band
  • “Inez” by Kristina Jacobsen
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