National Music Museum Logo   National Music Museum  
Home  Collections
Virtual Tour
Calendar Gift Shop FAQ Site Index Maker Index


Castanets ('Ili'Ili), Hawaii, mid-20th century

Click on image below to see larger image

NMM 1803.  Castanets ('ili'ili), Hawaii, mid-20th century.

NMM 1803. Castanets (‘ili‘ili), Hawaii, mid-20th century. Two pairs of round, flat stones (basaltic lava). Played by hula dancers with two stones in each hand. ‘Ili‘ili are very personal instruments, as their size is chosen to fit the player’s hands. Prior to the introduction of the guitar and ukulele into Hawaiian music (early 1880s), most instruments used to accompany traditional hulas were percussive. Thus, the main function of the ‘ili‘ili, like other traditional Hawaiian instruments, is to help the dancer maintain the beat. Gift of Linda Hansen Solheim, Estherville, Iowa, 1977.

Go to Annotated Checklist of Musical Instruments From Oceania on Display at the NMM

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD   57069

©National Music Museum, 2008-2010
Most recent update:   October 9, 2010

The University of South Dakota
Return to Top of Page