Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Banam, a bowed, monochord musical instrument of Santhal tribe of Bankura, West Bengal, is the third Exhibit of the Week of this month that has been displayed on social media pages of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya.
The height, width and thickness of the exhibit are 71.5 cm, 20 cm (at wooden peg), 11.5 cm (middle) respectively.
Museum director Praveen Kumar Mishra said Banam is one of the ancient musical instruments of Santhal tribe. It is carved out of a single log of wood, the lower part is hollowed and covered with lizard hide and tightened with bamboo pegs. String made of horsehair is fastened from one end to the other on which the bow is used to produce sound. It is played as an accompaniment during all festivals particularly associated with fertility of soil and harvesting, he says.
Banam is played with the bow, the notes are produced by gentle pressing of the fingers of the left hand on the string of the instrument. It is also known for its workmanship manifested in decorative motives and sculptural forms. It has a short neck and a head, which is beautifully carved in the shape of a human head.
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