With strings attached
Monday January 09th 2017, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

A surprise gift from Holly Saturday had me trying to find out what this was called and a little about it. She had bought it from a Romanian craftsman and that’s all we had to go on; she didn’t know either.

My sister-in-law, whose family fled WWII-era Latvia, told me, “It is like the Latvian kokle. You strum it, holding down the strings that aren’t played.”

There are 16 pairs of strings–wouldn’t you run out of fingers? I imagine if I said that to my Aunt Joyce, who teaches harp, she would get a good laugh out of it.

With thanks to Deb for the name, pictures of kankles looked closer to what we had.

After those first two I started clicking on more things under the letter k on their Global Instruments List to see videos of them being played. There are so many variants there, and more to be discovered as I knit.

Listening to that music, Holly, are you sure you want us to keep this? Now that you know what it can do. Beautiful.


Edited to add, HollyI think I found it!

3 Comments so far
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Sounds like a cousin of the mountain dulcimer.

Comment by RobinH 01.10.17 @ 11:39 am

Yep you got it but what does that SAY? Does google translate help?

Comment by Afton 01.10.17 @ 4:23 pm

Well considering Lithuania is right next door to Latvia, that makes sense that you’d find similar instruments. Google translate might help if it works with Lithuanian, I’m quite sure that’s the language on that website.

My mother-in-law and a couple of her sisters came to Canada with their mother from a German refugee camp in the late forties – after being displaced from Latvia. She grew up near Riga, and still owns a piece of property there. She hasn’t been back to visit in many years, but my big guy went in Oct 2015 to visit his sister and BIL. We are planning on going this fall – my first trip. The castles and history will be thrilling!

Enjoy the gift – it looks like it takes a bit of work to figure it out. I’m all keyboards myself, so can’t offer advice.

Chris S in Canada

Comment by Chris S 01.10.17 @ 7:52 pm

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