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Rekuhkara (from Sakhalin Ainu rekuh レクㇷ 'throat'; rekut レクㇳ or レクッ in Hokkaidō Ainu[1]) is a style of singing, similar to Inuit throat singing, that was practised by the Ainu until 1976 when the last practitioner died,[2] The Sakhalin spelling rekuxkara or the Japanese spelling rekukkara (レクッカラ in Katakana) can also be encountered.[3]

The Ainu method involved two women facing each other, with one forming a tube with her hands and chanting into the oral cavity of her partner. The technique is essentially one where the "giver" provides the voice and the "receiver", holding her glottis closed, uses her vocal tract to modulate the sound stream.[3]

Attempts have been made to recreate the sound of this practice.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Refsing, Kirsten The Ainu Language Aarhus University Press 1986
  2. ^ Nattiez, Jean-Jacques although recent revival has been attempted in this video based on the old recordings. The Rekkukara of the Ainu (Japan) and the Katajjaq of the Inuit (Canada) A Comparison in Le Monde de la musique, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1983.
  3. ^ a b Shimomura Isao (下村五三夫), Itō Daisuke (伊藤大介) 樺太アイヌの喉交換遊びレクッカラ について Kitami Institute of Technology, 2008
  4. ^ "Rekuhkara (Ainu throat-singing) - Hapo ne tay 2013 - アイヌのレクㇷカラ(喉遊び歌)".
  5. ^ "How 'Circumpolar' is Ainu Music? Musical and Genetic Perspectives on the History of the Japanese Archipelago".