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date: 09 December 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Flute of the Santal people of East India (Bengal, Bihar, Orissa). Two types are found, side-blown and end-blown. The transverse type is of bamboo, about 70 cm long and with an interior diameter of about 2 cm. About 19 cm from the left end the tube is closed by a natural node. Just below this is the mouthhole, and about 23 cm from there the first of six fingerholes, each about 3 cm apart. The flute is often decorated with brass bindings and feathers inserted in the left end. This type is perhaps typical of the Orissan Santal people, and resembles the rutu of the neighbouring Muņdāri people; the transverse flute tirio of the Uraon is identical. The tirāyu of the Santal of Bihar and Bengal, however, is end-blown, although of similar dimensions. The nonfunctional section closed by a node is at the bottom of the tube, and the six fingerholes are above this. The open upper end of the tube is held close against the lips, somewhat obliquely. It resembles the ...

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