LIMBINDI

The limbindi is another musical bow, but it is only played by the women and girls. A thin vine is used as the string and a strong pliable and elastic branch is used to make the bow. To change the pitch of the notes the string of the limbindi is held under the players chin. As they play they slide their chin forwards and back making the pitch go up and down. Traditionally a large leaf is held under the limbindi to reflect the sound back to the player, but today they usually sit on the ground to play and place the limbindi on an upturned cooking pot which acts as a sound box.

LISTEN to the limbindi
from album Heart of the Forest

As can be seen in the photo, the string doubles back on itself. The shorter string is played with the thumb of one hand. This defines the beat. Although this string is shorter it is forming a smaller arc on the bow and so is under less tension than the longer string and provides a bass note. The melody is played with the other hand on the longer string using a plectrum made from a small piece of wood or bark.

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