Type: Chordophones > Zither > Stick.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 314.122.4
Description: The mvet is a stringed musical instrument, that is classified as a stick zither. It is played by the Fang people of Gabon, Cameroon, western Central African Republic São Tomé and Equatorial Guinea. The mvet player must undergo a long and intense initiation and training.
Mvet players hold a special position in society. The spoken and sung narratives include epic stories that maintain the morale values, history, legends and ancestral lines of the tribal group. This is not that dissimilar to role of griots in neighbouring West African societies.
Construction: Traditionally the mvet was made from a raffia stick which five strings were cut from the peel. The five strings were stretched over a short notched bridge. Effectively doubling the number of pitches. A gourd resonator is attached to the mvet at the opposite side of tubular stock. Modern meets have up to three resonators [gourds]. Tuning keys on modern mvets are often welded from hardware, bolts and washers.
Citations: Bibliography: Biyogo, Grégoire 2002 Encyclopédie du Mvett. Paris Libreville: Editions du CIREF Editions de l’ICAD – Institut Cheikh Anta Diop. ISBN 2913983553 – Ndoutoume, Tsira 1993. Le Mvett : l’homme, la mort et l’immortalité. Paris: L’Harmattan. ISBN 2-7384-1558-X ; Boyer, Pascal 1988. Barricades mystérieuses & pièges à pensée : introduction à l’analyse des épopées fang. Paris: Société d’ethnologie. ISBN 978-2-901161-31-8 ; Alexandre, Pierre 1974 ;