First published in 1999, The Nenets’ Song is the first book-length study of the epic song tradition that survives among the Nenets nation of Northern Eurasia, an area which is also the homeland of such widely known epics as the Finnish Kalevala and Yakut Olonkho. The book considers the Nenets’ song tradition within its historical, cultural, social and political contexts, and focuses on its melodic system viewed as a manifestation of musical thought and knowledge.
Alla Abramovich-Gomon provides a description of the Nenets’ way of life and their song performances which she has observed while carrying out her field research. The book unravels the epic song’s ties with the Nenets’ shamanistic past and elaborates on a number of cross-disciplinary theories involved in shaping a holistic interpretation of the song tradition. The study concludes that the Nenets’ song tradition embodies the whole of their traditional ‘mother culture’ and has contributed to the people’s survival and adaptation.