Hello Folks! I am new here and new to African Art. Something about the objects really gets to me though. I hope to learn and will be more less a contributor, IMessage 1 of 4 , Sep 14, 2005View SourceHello Folks!
I am new here and new to African Art. Something about the objects
really gets to me though. I hope to learn and will be more less a
contributor, I supposen than an admirer and information seeker until
I get things under my belt.
I have picked up 5 pieces so far. 3 masks (Baule Kpan representing a
senior female, Goru-Yaure Zamble with strong antelope features and
Fang Ngil), a Currency Knife and a "lute". It is the lute I am
especially curious about. It is about 24" long, carved from a single
piece of wood with a hollowed out "trough". There are 4 stinrg holes
top and bottom and a single hole about midway.
Being a musician (sitar) I am curious about this piece. Exactly what
it is. Was there a bridge? What was it strung with? And anything
I have put up 4 scans on my website and will supply links below.
Unfortunately my digital camera charger is anywhere except where I
look for it so I had to use my scanner (luckily it does a good job of
3-d objects). The scans are a composite of the whole instrument, a
detail of the top front view, side view and an edge on view showing
So if anyone can enlighten me it would be greatly appreciated, and
perhaps one day I can return the favor! The dealer I got it from had
never seen one played and could offer little info, but it attracted
So here are the links and I thank you very much in advance.
The main view:
The Top front:
The Top side view:
The edge on view (closeup) showing the hollowed out "trough" that
goes the length of the playing body. You can also get a very good
view of three of the four string holes:
Welcome, Michael. The style of the figure atop your lute appears Tanzanian, perhaps Zigua or Wagogo (Gogo). Groups in Northern and Central Eastern TanzaniaMessage 2 of 4 , Sep 15, 2005View SourceWelcome, Michael.
The style of the figure atop your "lute" appears Tanzanian, perhaps
Zigua or Wagogo (Gogo). Groups in Northern and Central Eastern
Tanzania are rather clustered, and attributions are sometimes made more
specific, I think, than available information really supports -- given
that figural styles seem often to be shared or overlapping in the
region. (or perhaps I'm confused. Anyway...) There is a stringed
instrument from that area -- originating from among the Wagogo, I
believe -- called an izeze, which is variously described as a 1-, 4-
an 9-stringed "fiddle" that can be bowed or plucked. Searching for
sources regarding this term specifically or music from that region
generally -- whence cometh the (late) legendary Hukwe [Ubi] Zawose --
may bring you closer to a more certain identification.
... Thanks Lee. Internet searches have proven futile thus far but I will persevere. Wahtever results I find I will post here. I also thank you for the welcome.Message 3 of 4 , Sep 15, 2005View Source--- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "leerubinstein" <LRubinstein@p...>
> Welcome, Michael.Thanks Lee. Internet searches have proven futile thus far but I will
> The style of the figure atop your "lute" appears Tanzanian, perhaps
> Zigua or Wagogo (Gogo)...There is a stringed
> instrument from that area -- originating from among the Wagogo, I
> believe -- called an izeze, which is variously described as a 1-, 4-
> an 9-stringed "fiddle" that can be bowed or plucked. ... Lee
persevere. Wahtever results I find I will post here.
I also thank you for the welcome. It is most appreciated.
Michael: I was looking for images of something wholly unrelated that prompted me to leaf through more general works and came across a Tanzanian stringMessage 4 of 4 , Sep 16, 2005View SourceMichael:
I was looking for images of something wholly unrelated that prompted me
to leaf through more general works and came across a Tanzanian string
instrument on page 130 of Marc Ginzberg's AFRICAN FORMS (NY and
Milano: Skira Editore, 2000) which he describes as a "zither-like
instrument, mwanihiti or pango" that he attributes to the Kerewe or
Hehe, other Central Western Tanzanian groups. While this instrument is
not identical to yours, it shares some common elements so I would
continue your searches in that area and I think you will inevitably
find a broader knowledge of string instruments from that area and
eventually pin down the origin of yours! I was not successful n
searching the terms above but came across a truncuted page that
interestingly refers to a yangeyange musical tradition that is Wagogo
and that emanates from the region of Dodoma in Central Tanzania, the
place of origin of Hukwe Ubi Zawose. I don't see too much on that
tradition from a cursory search but perhaps these additional terms will
help. I will keep my eyes (and ears) open as well; perhaps the
information can even be found hidden in the liner notes of some
recording of traditional music from that area. Don't get too excited
but...here is the link:
When I have an opportunity to take some more photographs, I will post
images of 2 "related" string instruments that I have here.
Enjoy the search...and I encourage you to seek out samples of music
from that region as well. That may give your ear some information that
our eyes aren't finding.