Ae-be [Drehu: itra pë; Iaaï: bwinj-bet]
- Raymond Ammann
[Drehu: itra pë; Iaaï: bwinj-bet]
Idiophone of the Loyalty Islands (off New Caledonia). It joins most of the choral singing that accompanies dances. The names of the instrument reflect ideas associated with unity or being struck. It is a disc-shaped parcel, 20 to 30 cm in diameter and 10 to 15 cm thick, typically of coconut fibres covered by leaves of the tree Macaranga vedeliana. Other plant materials can be used as well. A string is affixed firstly on top of the bundle to hold the parcel together. As more leaves are added, the string will be passed enough times around the parcel to hold all the leaves tightly. Lastly a separate string goes around the parcel’s sides. In the centre of the upper side a sling is formed of the string, so that the musician can pass a finger through it to hold the instrument while it is struck with the palm of the other hand. Sometimes it is also struck against the thigh. The instrument is played by men and women....