Musical Instruments of Tripura
are made of materials that are available locally. The people of Tripura have a respect for the strong natural forces and try to pacify animistic spirits and the local gods. These instruments are made of bamboo, skin, wood and animal horns. It is believed that each of these musical instruments have a potential of conferring material benefits. Musical instruments of Tripura are a vital part of the traditional folk music of the region.
The popular musical instruments are described:
Flute or Sumui
: Flute is the least mechanical of all the instruments. It is constituted of bamboo. Sumui are of two types: one has seven holes and the other has eight holes. Most of the flute has dual characteristic features: Those held along the mouth and those held across the mouth
Sumui is made of the hollow stem of a bamboo. The bamboo is cut into a suitable length and thereafter put to his lips in a playing position that determines the distances of the flute. The distance becomes the standard length and on determining the position the marked areas are burned with a hot iron nail. Finally a separate mark is scratched in alliance with the stop-hole near the upper rim. It is marked at a distance of one finger-width for a rectangular cut that is gradually sloped according to thickness of the stem. With a knife that marked area is cut.
is a string instrument that is used by most of the tribes and is also known as Sarinda Uakhrap. It is made of bamboo. It looks like a peacock and to some extent like a mandolin. It also has an oval shaped void wooden vibrating chamber which is covered with a thin skin. Its wider top portion is open. The waist is narrow shaped. The instrument is about 65-70 cm. The lower portion is oval. The middle portion is large and the edges are wide. The cave portion is uncovered. In the top portion three pegs are fitted in order to fasten the strings. The strings are either metal or of the thread of Muga or animals gut. Sarinda is played by a crude "bow" that is made of horse hair. By tightening or loosening the strings the tuning is done.
, a type of chordophonic lute, is made of bamboo. It has a hollowed block of wood; the vibrator is covered with a parchment. A wooden bridge is placed in the lower portion. The strings are tied to the lute pins.
is a small rod idiophone. It is a unique instrument as it is a combination of the wind and percussion. It is composed of iron in the shape of tongs measuring and a single wire running between the arms. Dangdoo`s one end is held between the teeth with the lips parted. The player inhales and exhales as the wire is plucked. This controls the plunk and pitch.
is double-membraned. Both sides of the membranes are barrel shaped that are equal in equal sizes, scooped out of tree trunks. At either ends goat skin membranes are fixed that acts as a support to tighten the criss-crossed leather straps. This instrument is suspended from the neck, tied to the waist and kept on the ground and played with the hands.
, a musical instrument, is a combination of bamboo clappers. It is played with weird claps and twangs along with the "Lebangti" which is an ordinary bamboo clapper.
is a traditional instrument. It is a combination of strings and the base is semi circular and is made of the trunk of gamai, koroi or garjan trees.