Made by Barwe people (?) / Nyonganyonga / ca. 1900Made by Barwe people (?)
ca. 1900

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Creator Nationality: African; East African; Mozambican; Barwe
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Name-CRT: Made by Barwe people (?)
Title: Nyonganyonga
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1880
Creation End Date: 1920
Creation Date: ca. 1900
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Idiophone/plucked/lamellaphone
Materials and Techniques: Wood, shell, metal, beads
Dimensions: Total L. 9 1/4 in. (23.4 cm); Max. W. 6 5/8 in. (16.9 cm); Thickness of bridge 3/4 in. (2 cm); Thickness of soundhole 1 5/8 in. (4 cm); Thickness of longest lamellae 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); Thickness of shortest lamellae 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 09.163.6
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

The nyonganyonga is a lamellaphone an instrument consisting of thin metal or split cane tongues mounted on a resonating board or box. Depressing the free ends of the tongues with the thumbs produces a gentle ringing sound, sometimes augmented by jingling objects attached to the board. The instrument may be amplified by holding it in a hollow gourd. Tuning is accomplished by sliding the tongues in or out to change their vibrating length. Lamellaphones are distributed across sub-Saharan Africa and were brought to Latin America by enslaved Africans . They are known by many names that also may be shared with xylophones. Most names have word stems that include -mbila -mira -limba or -rima. Westerners, not recognizing differences in construction, have simplified the name to two regional terms, calling them either mbira or sanza.

AMICA ID: MMA_.09.163.6
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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