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date: 14 November 2019


  • Timkehet Teffera


Flute of the Berta people of western Ethiopia and southern Sudan. It is an end-blown one-note bamboo pipe without fingerholes. 12 to 25 bols of different pitches are played in hocket in ensemble (called bol negero and variant names) with a wooden kettledrum (negero) struck with two wooden beaters. During the 19th century this ensemble was a status symbol of the royal court. The instruments were kept in the royal palace and used only at private and official events of the court. Each bol had its own name: al meshir al awel, al meshir atani, tego bala, aqidare, amadine, asholfa, bolmoshan, etc.; nowadays the names differ according to locale and dialect. The pipes are made in sets from 9 to 80 cm long and 2 to 5 cm in diameter, with a sharpened blowing edge and slightly conical tube stopped at the bottom by a natural node. The ...

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