Undergrad Sarah Wyer Presents at UO Research Conference
Congratulations to undergraduate folklore major Sarah Wyer who will be presenting her paper “Crafting the Ancient: Pre-Columbian Music for a Modern Audience” at the University of Oregon’s undergraduate research conference. Wyer’s paper was completed in FLR 250 Introduction to Folklore and includes original research that contributes to the folklore field.
Wyer’s paper recounts fieldwork with local Eugenian artist musician Samuel Becerra and his motivations for crafting clay flutes. Becerra is a formally trained musician with a specialization in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican music and a further focus on Aztec instruments and musical forms. Beyond giving an overview of the instruments and how Becerra defines their importance and use, Wyer asks questions regarding his motivations for making folk art. Of particular focus is his use of Aztec heritage to form his identity and inform his work. Consulting background research on Aztec music, Wyer creates a framework for understanding Becerra’s artistic creations in terms of personal reasons, motivations and issues of community and identity. Through her fieldwork with Becerra, Wyer explores deeper meanings, such as strengthening a nostalgic connection to his Aztec heritage, behind his goal to uphold ancient Aztec traditions.
Wyer has been accepted to the Arts Administration master’s program at the University of Oregon and plans to continue her training in public folklore. We look forward to seeing more from her in the future.