- Andrew Tracey
Braced mouth bow of the Shona people of Zimbabwe and the Ndau, Chopi, and Shangaan of Mozambique. The stick is thinned except for a handhold near the centre. A light piece of cotton or fibre braces the wire string at a point that gives the interval of a 4th or 5th between the string segments. The string can be ‘pinch-plucked’ or struck with a plectrum. For resonance, the bow is held to the player’s open mouth at the brace point. Various techniques of damping and plucking with both the right hand and the index finger of the left hand (which holds the bow) allow production of four fundamental notes. The resulting harmonics make this one of the most versatile of southern African mouth bows. It resembles the Zulu isithontolo and the Sotho setolotolo in appearance and in playing technique, except that these latter bows are made of three separate sections assembled together....