Name: Asanda

Type: Bow Harp > Chordophone.

Region: Congo D.R. > Africa.

Acquisition Date:

Acquisition Source: The African Market, Kitsilano Vancouver Canada. The original store went out of business almost 20 years ago.

The asanda is a bow harp It is played to accompany singing and ritualistic chants associated to ancient fertility rites. The carving of a female deity on the top of the neck is an indication of this use. Some asanda do have two heads while the others have single heads. Five strings are stitched from underneath the animal and tied to the ends of each wooden tuning peg. Each tuning peg is hand carved and also shows a similar face as shown on the head of the asanda. On my specimen cowrie shells are set into a substance likely to be pitch. The body is carved in a bowl-shape and both the body and the neck are of the same piece of wood. The hide is prepared and stretched over the body thus forming a resonance chamber. One sound hole is cut into the hide.