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date: 15 November 2019


  • Mireille Helffer
  • , revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner
  •  and Simonne Bailey


Double-headed wooden barrel drum of the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is 35 cm long, and both heads are 19 cm in diameter. The higher-pitched head is made of goat skin and the lower-pitched head of cowhide, both with a tuning paste on the inside made from crushed caster seeds, mustard oil, and resin from the sāl tree. The lower head has beeswax added to produce the sound ‘’ when the wetted fourth finger tip of the right hand is rubbed across its surface. For other strokes the lower head is played with a heavy stick. The higher head is played by the flattened left hand. The nāykhĩ is named for the people of the butchers’ caste (nāy), who play this drum during funeral processions. Other Newar castes use the nāykhĩ during Buddhist processions and performances of the navabājā (‘nine drums’) ensemble. The drum is accompanied by ...

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