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  • J. Gansemans,
  • K.A. Gourlay
  •  and Ferdinand J. de Hen


Common name for a carved wooden whistle and for a vessel flute among various peoples of the Western Kasayi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Luba the whistle is used for signalling during hunting and is frequently of a roughly cruciform shape and approximately 10 to 12 cm long. It is held upright between the thumb and index finger and placed against the lower lip; the thumb covers and uncovers a small hole in the side, thus enabling the production of two notes. Through one ‘arm’ is a second hole for attachment of a suspension cord. Before use, the interior of the whistle is moistened with several drops of palm oil. The whistle may also be used as a rhythmic accompaniment for dancing....

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