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Morin khuur

Mongolian horse fiddle (morin khuur) with bow and case. The wood fiddle with a head carved in the shape of a horse's head with leather ears, with two tuning pegs either side and two horse hair (?) strings; carving in relief of floral arabesques on the neck and body. With a wooden bow with horse(?) hair. The morin khuur is a traditional Mongolian stringed instrument made up of a rectangular sound box and long neck surmounted by a carved horse's head, below which are two tuning pegs, resembling ears. The two strings are traditionally made of horse hair as are the strings of the bow. Morin khuur roughly translates as 'horse fiddle' due to the legends surrounding the origin of the instrument, based on beloved horses after their death being used to create the instrument which is also said to have a sound like a horse neighing; some of these stories date back to the 13th century and are part of the Mongolian cult of the horse. The instrument is sometimes played to accompany folk dances and the telling of stories; it has also been used to tame horses.

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  • Materials:Wood, hair
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  • Repository:Royal Collection Trust