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UW Ethnomusicology Archives: By Region

The UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives has been col­lecting and curating unique ethnographic music recordings, films, and video since 1962.

By Geographic Region

The UWEA is home to tens of thousands of unique recordings of music from around our world. On this page we highlight a selection of recordings of from each region. Since each region has a wide range of diverse recordings, the featured recordings are inherently unrepresentative of the whole regions. You can click on the titles of each of the bellow categories to be taken to the regions pages, or you can use the navigation menu at the top of this page. 

It is important to note that the collections featured on this page and on the pages for individual regions are only a small percentage of the total recordings held in the UWEA. For access to the UWEA's entire Archives West collection, click here


The Africa page showcases field and concert recordings from Africa. The page is divided into geographic areas based partially on the UN subregion designation with adjustments being made to make sure that key collections can be featured together. 

Strengths of our African collection include extensive recordings from Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. This is in part a result of the work of ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias, who gifted his extensive African collection to the UWEA. 

Featured recordings:


The Asia page showcases field and concert divided geographically based on the United Nations geoscheme for Asia. The geoscheme seperates the area into five regions: North, West, East, South, Southeast, and Central Asia. Russia and Turkey have been placed under Europe to reflect their musical traditions and political affiliations. 

Strengths of the collection include the Robert Garfias recordings from Southern and Eastern Asia and the Lorraine Hiromi Sakata recordings from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two of the countries most represented in the UWEA collection, China and India, are also showcased on this page. 

Featured recordings


The Oceania page showcases field and concert recordings divided geographically based partially on the UN geoscheme for Oceania. Melanesia and Micronesia have been displayed in the same category. New Zealand, which is often considered in the same region as Australia, has been placed under Polynesia to reflect the historical connections of the indigenous communities. Hawaii, which is part of the United States, is placed under Polynesia for the same reason. 

Featured recordings:

World map divided into Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas


The Americas page showcases field and concert recordings divided geographically into five sections: North America,  Central America, South America, the Caribbean (including Puerto Rico), and Indigenous Pacific Northwest. The UWEA has such a wide selection of recordings from PNW indigenous musicians, dancers, and storytellers, that the local indigenous communities have been given their own category to facilitate discovery. 

Strengths of the Americas collection include extensive mid-century jazz recordings from the United States, Robert Garfias' films and recordings made throughout Latin America, and extensive Coast Salish tribe recordings created by indigenous researcher and storyteller Vi Hilbert. 

Featured recordings


The Europe page showcases field and concert recordings divided geographically based on the UN geoscheme for Europe into four regions: Eastern, Western, Souther, and Northern Europe. Variations from the UN geoscheme include that Ireland and UK are placed under Western Europe to reflect their musical traditions, and Russia and Turkey are placed under Eastern Europe instead of Asia in order to reflect their historical and musical connections. 

Strengths of this page include the Joe Heaney collection featuring Heaney's traditional Irish singing and the extensive flamenco artist recordings created in Spain by various collectors.

Featured recordings:

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