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date: 13 November 2019


  • Gerhard Kubik


Trough zither of the Hehe people of western Tanzania, also played by the Safwa in the Mbeya region. It is about 1 metre long. The distal end of the narrow trough sits atop a gourd resonator shaped like a flattened sphere, with an orifice only 10 cm in diameter. The gourd’s diameter is less than a third of the length of the trough. The instrument has six strings and is tuned to a low pitch. It is used to accompany heroic songs and legends and praise songs concerning the chieftainship. Sangu informants claim that it was originally a Sangu instrument and only later adopted by the Hehe....

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