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This instrument was collected in the field by Antoinette and Diana Powell-Cotton, and its origin is associated with the Kangala/Kankala Bushmen and the iron mines near Mupa. 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 and length of each neck. This particular example has a boat-shaped, wooden resonator, with a separate wooden top board that was attached with vegetable fibers and dark beeswax. It has room for nine or eleven necks, of which only six remain. There are still two strings present (giraffe tail-hair?) and the bridge is missing.

  • Date:
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  • Collection:
    Powell-Cotton Museum
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  • Place of production:
    Cunene (province), Mupa (region), Angola
  • Hornbostel-Sachs classification:321.1 Bow lutes
  • Culture:Khoisan(?)
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  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.1 Bow lutes
  • Repository:Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 635mm; Height (at necks): 290mm; Width: 170mm