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Ritual Music

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Communal ritual celebration of the Hometree and mourning for the dead are universal across all the Na'vi clans on Pandora. They are also the most important ritual songs. Musically speaking, these are the simplest (and probably the oldest) of Na’vi songs. They are sung in a meter of three, which is believed to represent the trilogy of Eywa, the Hometree and the Na’vi people. They are slow and solemn in nature, and lyrically express the interconnectivity of the trilogy. There is no ornamentation of the melody because the Na’vi feel that, in this context, anything superfluous detracts from the purity of the message.

All ritual songs begin and end on first beat of the meter, which is the strongest and reflects the strength, shelter, and providence of Eywa. In the case of the Omaticaya clan, the third beat represents Hometree, which always leads the singer back to the first beat, Eywa. The second beat is the weakest of the three. It represents the Na’vi themselves, symbolically nestled between Eywa and Hometree and drawing strength from both.


The songs also express the interconnectivity of the trilogy through the lyrics. For example, in the following song, which can be sung both in celebration and in mourning, the link among Pandora’s beings is clearly represented in the first line: “We are all seeds of the Great Tree.”

Tree Song (Funeral Song)
English Na'vi
We are all seeds Utralä (a)Nawm
Of the Great Tree, ayrina’l(u) ayoeng,
Whose strength is in our legs A peyä tìtxur mì hinam awngeyä
Like the mighty trunks, N(a) aysangek afkeu,
In our arms Mì pun
As sheltering branches, N(a) ayvul ahusawnu,
In our eyes M(ì) aynar
The blue-flower Na seze
Which unfolds to the sun. A ’ong ne tsawke.
We are all seeds Utralä (a)Nawm
Of the Great Tree ayrina’ l(u) ayoeng,
Whose song is within us. A peyä tìrol m(ì) awnga.

The following lyrics from the Spiral Song also reveal the belief among the Na’vi that music is the prime cultural expression through which they identify and express the link between Pandora and themselves:

Spiral Song
English Na'vi
Music creates patterns Pamtseol ngop ayrenut
In the silence of the mind Mì ronsemä tìfnu
As weavers do Mì hifkey

We sing to See

Awnga rol fte kivame
We See to sing Kame fte rivol
We sing our way Rerol tengkr kerä
Down the eight paths Ìlä fya’o avol
To the center. Ne kxamtseng.
The songs bind the thirteen spirals Aywayl yìm kifkeyä
Of the solid world ’Ìheyut avomrr
To the eight spirit paths Sìn tireafya’o avol
Like the threads of a Songcord. Na waytelemä hìng.


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