Striking Instruments: The instruments used during festivals and dances are striking instruments. They include different types of Khuang and Dar, Bengbung, Seki, Talhkhuang.
Khuang or Drum: This instrument is a must on all occasions. Khuang is made of hollow tree and both sides are wrapped with animal skin. Different names are according to its size and length. The big one is known Khuangpui (Big drum), the middle one is known as Khuanglai; and the small one is Khuangte (little drum). If it is long it is known as Kawlkhuang.
Dar (Gong): Various sizes of gongs made of brass are known as Darkhuang, Darbu and Darmang.
Darkhuang: This is the biggest gong and is considered very valuable. This instrument is played on all occasions.
Darbu: This is a set of three brass-gongs that are of different sizes. It produces three musical notes. Generally this is played by three experts. It is used on certain occasions like Khuallam and group dances that are traditional.
Darmang is the smallest gong. It needs to be played with other gongs. It is used in traditional dances in order to keep timing.
Bengbung: It has some similarity with xylophone. It consists of a series of flat wooden bars that produces three musical notes. This is played by girls.
Talhkhuang is an instrument that is much bigger than that of Bengbung. It constitutes of three wooden pieces which are curved out. This is played with a wooden hammer. The Mizo takes Talhkhuang only to Lungdawh which is a platform at the entrance of the village.
Seki: Seki is the horn of the domestic mithun. They are used in order to maintain timing. It is used mostly when group dances are performed.
Wind Instruments: The six types of musical instruments used by the Mizos are Rawchhem, Tumphit, Mautawtawrawl, Phenglawng, Buhchangkuang, Hnahtum.
Rawchhem: It is a type of Scottish "Bagpiper". Nine small Bamboo pipes of different sizes and lengths are inserted to the dried gourd. One of the pipe is used a mouth piece. Small portions of the pipes are struck out in order to produce sound when the instrument is blown.
Tumphit: It is made of three small bamboos which are of different sizes and length. These are tied and plated in a row with strings. At different length the upper ends are cut open in order to create different notes at each tube. Tumphit was used during ritual ceremonies, especially on Rallulam and chawng festival.
Tawtawrawt: Tawtawrawt is a Bamboo trumpet. Bamboos are cut into different sizes. The smaller one is inserted to the bigger tube. Many are joined one after another till the last tube happens to be the size of a forefinger.
Phenglawng: This is the Mizo flute that is made of bamboo. This actually had only three holes that produce three different sounds.
Buhchangkuang: This is a flute that is made of reed or a paddy stalk. This is generally played by girls.
Hnahtum: Leaves of many trees produce interesting sounds. The Mizo boys blow it deftly.
Stringed Instruments: There are three kinds of stringed-Instruments that include Tingtang, Lemlawi and Tuiumdar.
Tingtang is a Mizo guitar that is a kind of fiddle. It has only one string. A bamboo shaft is fixed in the gourd in order to carry the string made of Thangtung. The hollow gourd is opened and covered animal's dry bladder.
Lemlawi: Lemlawi is an instrument made of small pieces of bamboo. The string is laos made from the bamboo. The sound produced by the string is controlled by the mouth.
Tuium dar: Tuium Dar is a musical instrument that is made of bamboo. The three having strings produce three different notes. From the outer covering, three pieces of cane like strings are curved out. The strings are raised by inserting two bamboo pieces.
(Last Updated on : 19-04-2012)
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