Salamuri

Name: Salamuri.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Duct.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.211.12
Country: Georgia.
Region: Caucasus.

Description: The Salamuri [in Georgian: სალამური Salamuri] is a Georgian, recorder-like instrument. One player can sometimes play two salamuris at once by using either hand.

The salamuri is a widespread wind musical instrument found in all regions of Georgia; especially in Kartli, Kakheti, Meskheti, Tusheti, Pshavi, and Imereti). Relics obtained from archaeological excavations prove the existence of the salamuri in Georgia during ancient times. Among the relics found by an archaeological expedition in Mtskheta [Eastern part of Georgia]. A bone pipe, found in 1938 at the northern section of Samtavro’s sepulchre. This salamuri is made of swan [shin] bone.

This instrument is a Fipple or duct flute in the same family as the recorder. In 1930 a bone salamuri [flute] was found together with other things in ancient burials of Samtavro in Mtskheta. Supposedly it dates back to the 15th-13th centuries B.C. and has only three small keys on the front side. The surface of the instrument is well polished. Its length is 19,9 cm. The size of blowing part is 1,1 cm and the bottom’s part is 1,8 cm.

It was found along with the remains of a 14-15 year old boy in a grave. Many other things were also put there: earthenware, crockery, arms, clothes, a talisman and so on. It is worthy of note that there were sheep bones, a bull’s head and feet bones there as well. On account of this the guide of the expedition the academician Iv. Djavakhishvili called it “The grave of a little shepherd”.

The examination of sepulchre dated it back to the 12th-11th century B.C. And if taken into consideration the instrument’s well developed design, it should have been widely spread in Georgia a long time before then. Bone-pipes [salamuris] were also found in the monastery at Uplistsikhe.

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