Bákura [bākurá dṛ́ti]
- Alastair Dick
Indian term found in the ancient Sanskrit Ṛgveda (pre-1000 bce), sometimes interpreted, but without certainty, as a musical instrument. It occurs only twice, both times connected with the verb dhmā (‘to blow’), once in the simple form bákura (i, 117.21) and once in the adjectival form bákurá, qualifying the word dṛ́ti (‘skin, bag’; ix, 1.8). In the first, the twin sky-gods (the Aśvin) are said to have made light for the Aryans by blowing with a bákura upon the aboriginal foe; in the second, ‘the virgins send him forth: they blow the bākurá bag and fuse the triple foe-repelling mead [the sacred drink soma]’. The two passages appear to be mythologically connected. Some Indologists have translated the word as ‘trumpet’ or, in the latter instance, ‘bagpipe’, clearly implausible. Sachs (1940) identified it as the conch horn, an important instrument, under the name śaṅkha...