Six Musical Instruments of Bhutan on stamps – Bhutan 2017
Music is an important essence of Bhutanese culture and society. Traditional musicians have used organic materials to craft and refine a variety of instruments to harmonise with melodies. Among the most popular percussive ,string and wind instruments are dranyen (lute), pewang (fiddle),lim (flute) and yangchen (hammered dulsimer).
Bhutan issued a set of Six stamps on Musical Instruments of Bhutan on 01 Sep 2017.
A miniature sheet on six Musical Instruments of Bhutan is listed below. The Sheet of six stamps also shows Lhamo Yangchenma -The Goddess of Knowledge and Music.
The six instruments are
Yangkali (Pod shaker) It is not man made but extracted from a fruit in forest that grows on tree creeper.These are huge bean shaped upto 3.5 feet long. Once dried it becomes hard shell with solid large seeds. Players can produce amazing rhythmic sounds by shaking the pod. Male dancers hang it around the left side of waist.
Yangchen (Hammered Dulsimer) It is not an indigenous Bhutanese instrument but very similar to one played in Mongolia or Tibet .there are different sizes and is usually painted in red,green and blue colors.
Kongtha (Mouth Harp) It is tension jaw harp and made from very thin bamboo and very light and fragile.
Lim (flute) Bamboo flute -when front blown it is known as dong lim and when side blown known as zur lim. there are several varieties of flute and each variety hasa distinct name. The flutes are differentiated by the distance between mouth holes and finger holes. Dong lim has six main finger holes and one mouth hole in a straight line.
Chiwang or Pewang (Fiddle) This type of instrument is generally made from Ox or Buffalo Horn. The resonance box of the horn is covered by leather. A woodstem with two pegs at the top passes through the centre of hollow horn. Two strings run from the pegs down the stem.The Chiwang is played with a bow made of dried bamboo threaded with horse tail.
Aungli (horn) This wind instrument is made of large mithun (Indian Bison) ,buffalo or ox horns. The pointed end of horn is cut off so that air can pass throgh smoothly. it is used by cattle herders to protect herds from predators.