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The origins of this instrument are closely related to the short-necked, traditional ribbed-bowl-shaped Arabian lute (Oud) from Yemen, which can also be known as "gambus" or "qanbus." However, this example is of the second variant of instruments that have a narrower body usually carved from a single piece of wood. Probably due to strong migration and trading routes, the Islamic gambus became widespread in South East Asia. This example shows typical characteristics of these instruments, like the long carved tailpiece and a longer hook-shaped pegbox that resembles a stylized horse-head. The pear-shaped resonator is covered with animal skin through metal tacks along its edges. Two tacks just above the tailpiece are made of brass. The neck is built in two parts, having a brass plate pinned to the joint. It is also hollowed out and covered with a wooden fretless fingerboard that was nailed along the edges. The instrument has six friction wooden pegs and gut strings (one string broken). The wooden bridge is glued onto the skin. The body has three holes along the sides and back, and the fingerboard has two holes at the bottom.

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  • Decorative elements:Red textile ribbon (velvet?) tacked with star-shaped metal tacks along the edges of the resonator.
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  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.321 Necked bowl lutes
  • Repository:Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 940mm; Width (at body): 190mm; Width (at pegs): 200mm; Depth: 110mm