Chant Tradition / Ritual in Mudewei | World Anvil
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Chant is a significant component of An'o performances. It is a universal custom to open and close a dance with a call or short prayer, commonly addressed to Lan'tha and dedicating the dance to her. Additionally, either the dancers or the drummer(s) will chant during the dance as another layer of meaning. As such, chants are not divorced from music and dance.   The most common topic of a chant is religious. Many are dedicated to Iradae or Lan'tha, but it is not uncommon to find them dedicated to Parevia, Stuz'a, Lakhta, Ul'shai, and other deities. A very close second to that are chants about semi-mythical figures, including the Snow Warrior and his Pups. Following that (also very closely) are chants about great historical figures, such as An'hulla and Iradae the Lawgiver, as well as clan heroes, some of whom would otherwise be lost to history.   In recent years, another form of chant has gained popularity, comparable to a protest song on Earth. They function as denunciations of people or events, such as leaders and generals who are widely regarded as having made poor decisions. The most famous are chants about Raida, which have retained popularity despite the otherwise common practice of collectively forgetting his existence. Others crop up in response to certain events; response chants to actions like The "Cleansing" of Albar and The Purge of Muxter are currently on the upswing.


Chant predates and provides many of the foundational and stylistic building blocks for Khe'drakha, and is a universal and almost essential component of An'o (no an'o which lack chanting have been found or noticed by the locals, and they speak highly of their ability to notice such things). It has, and continues to, serve as a medium to record and pass down history, and is also a mark of cultural heritage.   In the years following Unification, two trends developed, stressing either the unity of the Stenza species and trying to promote one cultural identity, or the individuality of clans despite now all operating as one polity, respectively. The two trends gradually developed a peaceful coexistence: each clan maintains their own "canon" of traditional works, and members also learn a "unified canon" belonging to the former school of thought.


Specific chants are placed at the beginning and end of dances, as opening and closing prayers over the dance itself. They stand apart from the "subject" chant, but both may be chanted by either the dancer, a drummer or drummers, or both. The dance is timed to the chant, tying the two together into a single unit. It is advised that anyone chanting enunciate each word, as several words could become lost in each other, which is not conducive to storytelling.
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