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date: 15 November 2019

Lukombelocked

  • K.A. Gourlay
  • , revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Extract

Pluriarc of the Titu, Yaelima, Ipanga, Kutu, Ntomba, Sakata, Shongo, and adjoining peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo. The term is either cognate with or a variant of others that resemble it closely: lokombe (Ngando), lukomb’ (Lele), lokombi (Oli, Mongo, Lia, Yela), longombe (Nkundo, Ngata, Mongo, Yaelima, Ibeke, Mbole, Eso, Lia, Bokatola, Ngongo), longombi (Mongo), and lokombele (Nkundo). All the instruments have a wooden soundbox, generally rectangular, about 30 to 50 cm long by 15 to 20 cm wide; in some the base retains the semicircular form of the tree from which it is carved. Five strings are normal, though Sakata, Mongo, Nkundo, and Ngando pluriarcs have six and some Mongo seven. Each string is attached to a separate bow that rises from the base of the soundbox; in some cases bows are affixed in the end. The string passes through a hole in the soundtable, either with or without a small ‘bridge’, and is secured beneath it. Tuning is effected by twisting the string around the bow to increase or decrease tension....

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