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date: 13 November 2019

Puhakahau [puakahau]locked

  • Mervyn McLean

Extract

[puakahau]

Idioglot clarinet of Ua Pou (Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia), often termed a ‘mouth flute’. It was made from a long joint of bamboo, the upper end of which was closed by the terminal septum. Just beyond this point a reed was cut, which was left attached at the lower end and held slightly open by one or two human hairs drawn under it to make it easier to blow. There were usually three fingerholes. The sound was produced by directing the breath to the reed, and was said to be soft and subdued. The instrument was used to accompany dancing and by men for courting. It has become obsolete since the last known recording was made, in ...

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