RAVANAHATHA (Ravanhattha)

India 20th century.

Rajasthan, Gujarat.

Known and described for nearly fifteen centuries, the ravanahatha is represented in Indian mythology as the first bowed instrument, dating from 3000 years before our era… It is made up of a thick bamboo tube on which half a walnut is attached of coconut stretched with goatskin and serving as a sounding box.

Fourteen sympathetic strings run through the bridge and are tuned on top of the neck by wooden pegs. They are bordered on either side by the two strings used to play the melody.

A  bow strung with horsehair and fitted with brass bells give the sound..

This type of ravanahatha, the most elaborate, is mainly played by the Bhopas, religious musicians and singers from Rajasthan.

Length: 84.5cm    Width: 9.8cm     Depth of the body: 10.7cm