MAYURI or TAUS. South India
Bowed fiddle whose body, sculpted in the shape of a peacock, has its original polychromy.
Later head and skin.
The red lacquered neck has frets and eleven sympathetic strings. It ends with a polychrome serpent’s head.
No document consulted mentions this instrument before the 19th century, the mayuri (mayura meaning peacock) was described in 1875 by Sadiq Ali Khan who said it originated in Punjab. It seems to be a sophisticated variant of the esraj.
The peacock and the snake are the two attributes of the god Murugan.