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Trough zither

This instrument was collected by Archdeacon Walker, from the Church Missionary Society, between 1893 and 1910, and it is associated with the Wanyamwesi tribe located south of lake Victoria (Tanzania). It is a trough zither carved from a single piece of dark wood reminiscent of the shape of a trough, in which the same string made of vegetable fibers loops back and forth from holes at the edges of the board to create an eight string instrument.

  • Culture:Wanyamwesi
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:Standing female figure carved as a finial on one end of the board, dressed and decorated with beads, fibers, and ivory eyelets. Geometrical incisions of a triangle pattern on the bottom of the board, and on figure's front.
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:315.1 Trough zithers without resonator
  • Repository:Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 805mm; Width: 155mm; Depth: 90mm