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Traditional music instruments of the Santals at the Museum of Santal Culture – West Bengal

Dhodro banam bowed instrument

Tirio bamboo flute

Madol or tumdak double-sided barrel drum

Information on these and other music instruments provided by the Wesanthals E-Group

* Tirio: The instrument most favoured by Santals, is bamboo flute with seven holes. It is viewed as a symbols of love and seduction.

* Dhodro banam: is a bowed instrument carved out of a single log of wood of a tree which according to Santal story, grew out of the flesh of a human being. It consits of a belly(lac) covered with an animal skin on which rests the bridge(sadam, lit, horse), an open chest( korom), a short neck(hotok)and a head( bohok) which is often beautifully carved in the shape of a human head, a couple or whole groups of humans or of animals. If the is a head, the tuning peg is inserted in the ear(lutur), and the gut string comes out the mouth.

Phet banam: is a fretless stringed instrument with three or four strings. The waisted belly is completely covered by animal skin.

* Tumdak,is also known as madol, is a two faced drum with a body brunt clay. Both heads the left one broader than the right are covered by bullock hide and are beaten by the left and right hand.

Tamak: is a bowl shaped kettle drum. Its body is made of thin metal sheets, covered by bullock hide and beaten by a pair of sticks.

Junko: is an onomatopoeic description of sounds of the ankle bells, which are cast in metal in the shape of buds and tied to the feet of dancers from where they produce rhythmical sounds.

Singa: is a S-shaped wind instrument played in pairs in weddings. Made of brass of copper, it is usually constructed in the three pierces with mouthpiece at the blowing end and a conic opening at the other.



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