Characterization, perception and cultural links with soundscape. The case of Pacanda island in Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan

Authors: David Garrido Rojas*, Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, UNAM, Pedro Sergio Urquijo Torres, Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, UNAM
Topics: Cultural Geography, Environmental Perception, Landscape
Keywords: soundscape, music, local perception
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The research is a soundscape study of the island of Pacanda in Patzcuaro Lake. The island is a P’urhepecha indigenous community. Their main livelihoods are fishing, tourism and temporary migration. The objective was to characterize the soundscape based on the local knowledge and people’s perception.
We followed a qualitative methodology, particularly semi-structured interviews with the residents of Pacanda to get access to their knowledge, perception and the meanings attributed to the soundscape of the island. We also used the "soundwalks" technique to obtain specific information about the territory.
The results show that the most important natural sounds on the island are birds, insects, amphibious and reptiles, domestic animals, wind and the waves of the lake. Distinctive human sounds comprise musical sounds, such as orchestras and local musical groups, recorded music and people singing or whistling, as well as those related to the arrival of people, like the sound of the boats and tourists. Other significant sounds are the church bell and the sonority of religious festivities, like Saint Paul and the Corpus.
Regarding the perception of the Pacanda’s soundscape, the inhabitants describe it as quiet or relaxing. Because of this, they prefer the soundscape of the island to that of the city. The soundscape is a key factor when deciding if stay or return from the cities to where they have migrated to the island. Festivity sounds are important because they change everyday soundscape, making it more cheerful.

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