Chonguri [changuri, cheguri]
- Nino Razmadze
Plucked lute of Georgia, disseminated in West Georgia (Samegrelo, Guria, Achara, and Imereti). A similar instrument named achamgur is encountered in Abkhazia. The chonguri has a pear-shaped, vaulted body 16 to 17 cm deep with a flat tail, and a long slender neck of walnut with a bent-back, curved pegbox. The body is usually constructed of seven or eight staves of mulberry, pine, lime, or cherry wood; only rarely is it hollowed from one piece. The frets are usually tied on the neck (or very rarely inlaid), though the historical chonguri had no frets. The soundtable, commonly a central length of fir flanked by side pieces of mulberry, often has three soundholes as well as patterns of smaller perforations (the body can also be perforated), and can be decorated with inlaid mother-of-pearl, bone, or coloured wood; the neck can also have inlaid ornaments. Patterns of small round or oblong soundholes penetrate the soundboard and sides of the body. The instrument is usually about 100 cm long....