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date: 06 December 2019

Cimṭā [cimtā jhyāli]locked

  • Alastair Dick,
  • Mireille Helffer,
  • Gert-Matthias Wegner
  •  and Simonne Bailey


[cimtā jhyāli]

Metal clappers of South Asia. They are especially common in Punjab areas—west and east Punjab and Haryana—of India and Pakistan, where they accompany folk dances. The name means ‘tongs’ and the instrument consists of two long, thin steel blades joined by a ring-shaped iron handle. The length, including the handle, is about 60 cm. Small metal discs (jhyāli) are loosely fastened in pairs to the outer sides. The player holds the tongs horizontally with one hand and squeezes the blades together rhythmically with the other, causing the discs to jingle. Among the Muslim mendicants of Bengal (fakīrīgān) ecstatic singers strike the clappers against their chest, arms, top of the head, and so on. In the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal they are called cimtā jhyāli and accompany bhajan and kīrtan religious group singing. Yogis play this instrument whilst chanting and begging for food. They also use it to hold a flame to light their inspirational drug ...

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