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date: 14 November 2019


  • Ferdinand J. de Hen


Pluriarc of the Oli and Saka peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made from a partly hollowed piece of wood, closed at the bottom. The open side is covered by a wooden soundboard, bound to the body with rattan, and the joint between body and soundboard is sealed with resin to render it airtight. Part of the body projects beyond the soundboard. The six strings of raffia (nkinga) are each held by a separate bow stuck into the projection, each string passing through a hole in the soundboard and tied under it; a piece of hard liana serves as a nut. The imele is held on the knees parallel with the player’s legs, and the strings are never damped when playing. A larger but otherwise similar pluriarc with five strings, called lukombe, is held transversely on the knees.

LaurentyC, 117 F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi...

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