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date: 14 November 2019


  • Elaine Dobson


End-blown bamboo whistle of the Lepchas people of Sikkim, North India. It is like the tangdue but larger, approximately 13 cm long; the tangdue is only about 9 cm long and 2 cm in diameter, and is made of wood or bamboo. The bumpachu is played, like the tangdue, by strongly tonguing the upper edge of the top hole while blowing across it and moving the instrument back and forth on the lower lip. The fingers of the right hand also play trills on the open lower end. Bumpachu were first made and used by hunters for signalling in the dense forest without making a human sound that would scare off the animals. Later, hunters began imitating birdcalls, and a repertoire of patterns evolved. Variations to the instrument include having one hole in the middle of the pipe or sometimes moving a finger in and out of the open distal end in order to change the pitch, Birdcalls on the ...

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