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date: 14 November 2019

Ikidi [akidi, akimbi, ekidi]locked

  • K.A. Gourlay
  • , revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen


[akidi, akimbi, ekidi]

Board zither of the Mamvu and Budu peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It measures about 35 cm by 5 cm, and has five to eight strings of vegetable fibre. In performance it is placed on top of a calabash resonator and plucked with a palm-leaf plectrum, while the thumb plays arpeggios on the strings. The ikidi is traditionally used by the siba sect for their dances and also reputedly has magic powers that enable young men to steal women. Similar zithers are the Mamvu and Balese kpai (five strings), which is placed between the knees and plucked with a plectrum, the Mangutu dingba (six or seven strings) and the Lega kungu (five strings).

Among similar instruments in the DRC, the Luba seven-string ngyela is placed over a calabash on the ground; it is a man’s instrument associated with hunting rites of the buyanga sect, and is also used to accompany singing, especially lamentations. The player depresses certain strings with his fingers to prevent them from sounding, while playing arpeggios on the remaining strings. The ...

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J.S. Laurenty: Les chordophones du Congo belge et du Ruanda Urundi (Tervuren, 1960)