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Global Lullabies: The Arrorró Project

Categories: Caribbean, Central Asia & Caucasus, East Asia, Latin America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Japan, Madagascar, Trinidad & Tobago, U.S.A., Ukraine, Arts & Culture, Citizen Media, Education, Ethnicity & Race, Music, Youth
lullaby by Wide© Raf.f [1]

lullaby by Wide© Raf.f

Artist Gabriela Golder from Argentina has taken it upon herself to discover, record and collect lullabies from all over the world, and to find connections among them in the Arrorró project [2].  Rising Voices director David Sasaki [3] wrote about the project on the 80+1 website [4], where he interviewed Gabriela on camera [5], and got authors and editors for Global Voices involved by inspiring many to record themselves singing the lullabies they remembered from their childhood.

David Sasaki wrote [4]:

I sat down with Golder at El Hipopotamo [6] in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires to learn more about what has been discovered in the 200 videos that have already been recorded, and how the project will evolve over the next two months leading up to its simultaneous live exhibition in Buenos Aires and Linz. Our conversation was in Spanish, but I have added English sub-titles to the video:

Inspired by the lullaby project, he recorded himself [4] singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, a song he remembered his parents singing to him to send him to sleep:

Our own Managing Director from Trinidad and Tobago, Georgia Popplewell [7] also joined in [4], with Blanket Bay:

Lova Rakotomalala [8] sang a lullaby [9] from Madagascar about a duck:

Thanks to Onnik Krikorian [10] and Veronica Khokhlova [11] who suggested it, we bring you this Russian Animation Project [12] that illustrates lullabies from all over the world with illustrations explaining the songs lyrics. Following, an Azerbaijani lullaby [13] about a baby dreaming about his life, and a Ukrainian [14] one where winter lulls babies to sleep. More lullabies from different countries can be found here [15]:

This next one is a Brazilian song meant to scare babies into sleeping, suggested by Paula Góes [16]: Ox with a Black face, where the Ox will take away the children who are scared of the black face. On the following video [17], a young girl is singing it:

Another lullaby with scary lyrics and an enchanting melody is the Shimabara Lullaby [18], roughly translated by Hanako Tokita [19] as:

“I am too poor and not attractive so I won't be sold…. Please go to sleep or a trafficker
will come and get you… I wonder where all the girls are now and where they were sold to… Ororonbai, Ororoanbai…”

First of all, thanks to all the authors and editors who participated with sending in their childhood lullabies and recommendations, even if we couldn´t include them in this post. Please wait for Part II!

Thumbnail image modified from Wide© Raf.f [20]‘s Lullaby … Moena