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Images from The Beede Gallery

Lute (Tungna), Nepal, 19th Century

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Lute, Nepal, 19th century Side view Side view Back view

NMM 2682.  Lute (tungna), Nepal, 19th century. Body carved from single piece of wood. Waisted resonating chamber with goatskin belly. Carved wooden makara finial. Gut strings. Played with small, attached plectrum. One of smallest examples of lutes used by Newari people living in northeastern Nepal. Length:  438 mm. Board of Trustees, 1980.


Front and Side Views of the Pegbox

Front view Back view

Sickle-shaped pegbox with open back. Carved makara finial.


Views of the Bridge, Plectrum, and Lower End

Close-up of bridge Lower end

The tungna is among the smallest examples of a group of lutes, primarily long neck (27 to 40 inches), referred to as sgra-snyan, found in Tibet and the entire Himalayan Region (Ladakh, northern Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan).


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. 18.

Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, M.M. Thesis, University of South Dakota, May 1983, p. 78, plate XXVIII.

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