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date: 14 November 2019

Pung [meitei pung, pung mṛdaṅga]locked

  • Alastair Dick
  • , revised by Eben Graves

Extract

[meitei pung, pung mṛdaṅga]

Double-headed barrel drum of Manipur in northeast India. It shares similarities of construction and performance with the khol of Bengal, Assam, and Orissa. Its body (pungmaru), roughly 45 cm long, is carved from a block of wang, mango, or jackfruit wood. After the body is carved, a black paste (khee) is applied to protect its exterior. The body is asymmetric, as the treble head (manāu) is slightly larger than the bass head (maru), a feature shared with the related North Indian drums pakhāvaj and mṛdaṅgam, while somewhat different from the exaggerated asymmetry of the khol. Both composite heads begin as two layers of bison or cow hide that are laced to a plaited hoop (kata) made of interwoven strands of hide. About three-quarters of the upper skin on each face is cut away in the centre, leaving a ring-shaped lip that protrudes from the hoop. On the exposed lower skin of both heads several layers of semi-permanent tuning compound (...

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