The sarasvati vina is the instrument associated with Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, and learning, worshipped throughout Nepal and India, whom is also usually depicted with the instrument. It is mostly used in Carnatic music, in southern India. Technically, it is a long-necked, plucked lute made in three sections of wood (body, neck and pegbox), usually jackfruit wood, with an extra gourd assembled on the back of the neck that functions as stand, or positioner. The fretboard is made of two narrow, and scalloped strips of wood placed at the edges of the neck, having 24 brass round bars set into red wax as frets. The nut is also a brass bar. The pegbox, carved in the shape of a dragon's head (yali), has four friction pegs for the melody strings (steel and copper-wound). The neck has three side friction pegs for the drone strings (steel). All strings are anchored with brass rings and wire to a brass tailpiece rod at the end of the body. The melody strings rest on a raised bridge made of carved wood topped with a slightly curved, brass plate.
- Specific materials/techniques:
- Decorative elements:Polychromed painted decoration on supporting gourd. Extensive bone or plastic inlay with red, golden, and black foliage and floral motifs. Two elephant and a Hindu god representations made of bone or plastic applied on the soundtable.
- Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.321 Necked bowl lutes
- Repository:Cyfarthfa Castle Museum
- Measurements:Length: 1240mm; Height: 320mm; Width: 350mm