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date: 14 November 2019


  • Geneviève Dournon


Idiochord tube zither of Madhya Pradesh (Bastar district), India. The instrument may be designated by several terms: the Maria people call it bhuyabaja in Halbi (the lingua franca of this region), or dumir in Koya (Gondi dialect), and Grigson (1938) mentioned it as pak dhol or veddur dhol, which literally means ‘bamboo drum’.

The bhuyabaja is made of a section of bamboo, cut between two nodes, about 50 cm long and 8 cm in diameter. The outer surface of the bamboo is excised in part and cut into thin strips to provide two or three strings, raised on small movable bridges, also of bamboo. The Maria treat the zither as a string drum, striking the strings with two sticks. It is made and used during certain seasons for agrarian rites, which explains why it is rare. The tube zither, probably of Malay-Indonesian origin, is found only among a few tribal populations in India. It is used mainly in Indonesia, in the highlands of Vietnam, and also in Madagascar ...

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