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Arched harp

This instrument was collected in the field by Percy Horace Gordon and Hannah Powell-Cotton, most likely in the Northern Region [province] Uganda, as the Lotuko cultural group are mainly based in South Sudan, which borders the northern Ugandan provinces. It is an arched harp made with a tortoise-shell resonator covered with animal skin stretched on the top (soundtable) and crisscross-laced with haired hide on the bottom. The soundtable has three small soundholes. The angled neck is made of wood and it rests on the bottom of the resonator bowl, piercing the soundtable. It has four wooden tuning pegs and strings made of vegetable fibers. The strings also pierce the soundtable and are attached to a strip of wood (stringholder) that passes along the length of the bowl.

  • Culture:Lotuko
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:The neck finial is a carved human head.
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:322.111 Arched harps - Wachsmann type 1
  • Repository:Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 375mm; Width: 155mm; Height: 240mm