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Thighbone Trumpet (Rkang Dung), Tibet, 19th Century

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Left side

NMM 1482.  Thighbone trumpet, Tibet, 19th century.  Right side.

NMM 1482.  Thighbone trumpet (rkang dung), Tibet, 19th century. Bone with pieced leather bell cuff. Ball joint of femur has been removed and the end smoothed to create rudimentary mouthpiece. Employed by shaman of the Bön tradition for rituals and feast day observances; usually held in the left hand, "of wisdom." Board of Trustees, 1976.



Mouthpiece formed where ball joint was removed, leaving a blunt end; marrow canal forms natural hollow bore.

Knee Joint and Epiphyseal Condyles Form Bell

Bell Bell


Bell of trumpet formed by kneejoint end of femur; epiphyseal condyles form a natural double bell with two open holes. Covered with leather.

Literature:  Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, The Shrine to Music Museum Catalog of the Collections, Vol. II, André P. Larson, editor (Vermillion: The Shrine to Music Museum, 1982), p. 26.

Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, M.M. Thesis, University of South Dakota, May 1983, p. 66, plate XXIV.

Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments From Tibet and Nepal

A catalog of instruments from Tibet is available from the Gift Shop

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Most recent update:   October 9, 2010

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