SUMMARY | PHOTO GALLERY | NEXT PICTURE | PREVIOUS PICTURE | | LEXICON

TRADITIONS & UTENSILS

  

 

 

  ravanahatta

 

India

A street musician in Fathepur Sikri, playing the ravanahatta, an ancient Indian stringed instrument, that is played with a bow. It is probably the earliest instrument played with a bow and some believe it is the precursor of the violin.

 

It consists of a hollow bamboo cylinder attached to half a coconut shell, of which the mouth is covered with goat hide, and two principal strings. Characteristically, the bow often has small jingle bells attached to it, as seen on this man's instrument in Pushkar.

 

  ravanahatta

 

  ravanahatta

 

It is typically played by wandering street musicians, particularly in the states Rajasthan and Gujarat. This young musician in Jaipur has painted his instrument in the colours of the tiranga, the Indian national flag (fig.), including the Ashoka Chakra wheel, which is depicted on the rounded sound box covered with goat hide.