This playlist from the Smithsonian Folkways collection was created in collaboration with One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage, a program of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival that highlights language diversity as a vital part of our human heritage. The songs on this playlist are performed by endangered language communities around the world who, to varying extents, have sustained their languages through music. From Tuvan throat singing and Hawaiian drum dance chants to Kichwa flute music and songs sung among the cicadas in Papua New Guinea, the ancestral tongues of these communities embody cultural knowledge, identity, values, technologies, and arts. Through these songs, we are reminded of the value of linguistic diversity and the necessity of preserving endangered languages for the benefit of their speakers and for the enrichment of the wider world.
2013 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings