Name: Bolon.
Type: Chordophones > Composites > Harps > Bridged.
Hornbostel Sachs No#:
Area: Senegambia.
Region: Africa.
Country: Guinea, Gambia & Mali.

A Susu yeliba [Jeli or Griot] playing a bolon in 1905 © Fran ßois-Edmond Fortier [1862-1928] Collection, Published in Dakar, Senegal.
Description: The bolon is a traditional harp that is played by griots in Mali, Gambia as well as Guinea. It was notably played in hunting ceremonies or before a battle, to rouse warriors’ valour. It was also used by the Jola in Gambia for accompaniment for men’s choruses.

Playing Technique: The Bolon is placed between the legs with the strings facing the musician. In addition to plucking the strings, the musician also hits the calabash as if playing a drum.

Construction: The bolon is a three-stringed instrument, constructed from a large calabash covered by unshaven goat skin and a bow-shaped neck.

Citations: Bibliography:  Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka, Page 77 ~ Eric Charry ; Stone, Ruth M. ed. West Africa: An Introduction.” Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Volume 1: Africa – New York: Routledge, Array. 458-86. Music Online: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Web. 29 Sept. 2016 ; Websites: [Youtube Video: Bolon Performance by Soleymane Camara, Boke region in Conakry, Guinea Recorded by Ulf Jägfors]:

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