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date: 16 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Metal scraper of India, described in medieval Sanskrit texts. The name means literally ‘shell-instrument’ and points to an original use of rough-sided shells. The one described in the 13th-century Saṅgītaratnākara (ed. S. Subrahmanya Sastri, vol.3, Madras, 1951), however, is a long (about 120 cm) flattish tube of bell-metal or iron, roughly 6 cm thick. It has grooves scored across it and is scraped with a conical metal stick (koṇa), itself grooved. The sound is described as kirikiṭṭā (like a cricket?), and the instrument was called that by the folk, or rudravallabha. It appears to have been used primarily by ascetics (yati). South Asian scrapers of modern times include the cāṙā, the bamboo doddurajan of the Saora people of southern Orissa and northern Andhra Pradesh, the metal kirgicha of the Dhurwa people, Bastar district, Madhya Pradesh, the bamboo kargach of the Bhil people, Aravalli Hills region, Rajasthan, the ...

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