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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Gourd harp-like instrument. Forked piece of branch (part b), with a straight section of equal length to that of the forks, and with a stick going across the top creating a triangular frame. One side has nine holes pierced through by burning. Five grass strings are tied into five of them and go to the opposite side and wind around the stick. Piece of cord around unpierced end. Separated from frame is half of a brown-yellow gourd (part a), of which the top centre has four pierced holes on it with cracks around them, and grass going through two holes at the base of the gourd.

History Of Use

Forked obah or harp is a simpler version of the lyre. The sound board in this case is half of a dried gourd which the player places against his body to vary the tonal effects. The strings are plucked with the fingers. The obah is used as a solo or as an accompanying instrument. It is important for entertainment and is integral to many rituals and ceremonies, especially those connected with birth, initiation, marriage, and death. A player is trained young, in order to perform well.

Cultural Context

Entertainment; festival.

Item History

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