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This instrument was collected in the field by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton. A pluriarc ("many bows") is a compound, or multiple bowl lute, consisting of a single resonator (bowl or box shaped) from which several bows (or necks) project, each carrying a string. The tuning of each string depends on the variable curvature of each neck. This particular example has a resonator made of an hollowed log, with a separate wooden top board that was nailed to the resonator body. The top has a rectangular soundhole and there are five strings of vegetable fiber remaining (one string is broken and one neck is missing). Although the top has seven pierced holes for strings, there is room only for six necks in the resonator, which could indicate that one neck could have been used for two strings, or that the top was re-used from another instrument. The bridge is a strip of cane.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
  • Collection:
    Powell-Cotton Museum
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  • Place of production:
    Cameroon (Littoral Region)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs classification:321.1 Bow lutes
  • Culture:Bakoko
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  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.1 Bow lutes
  • Repository:Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 570mm; Width: 135mm; Depth (at necks): 220mm