Kolitong

Name: Kolitong.
Type: Chordophones > Zithers > Tubes > Idiochords.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 312.11
Country: Philippines.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: A kolitong is an idiochord tube zither, that is from Bontok in Kalinga, Philippines. It has six strings that run parallel to its tubular body. A variety of bamboo tube zithers are found throughout the Philippine archipelago, each zither differing from the other in name, size, and design depending on its associated ethnic group.

Etymology: The names associated with the kolitong are due to its wide distribution from the north where it is called kuletong, kulitong or kulibet [in Kalinga] played in Bontok, Kalinga ; kollesing, kulesin, kulising [in IIonggot] ; killeteng, kulitteng, ohitang or uritang [isneg] ; kaltsang [in ibaloi] ; kuritang [in Ibagag] salorai, saluray, saluroy, saw-ray [in Manobo, Ata]; sigitan [in Subanun]; sloray, senday, sluray, s’ludoy [Bilaan, Tagakaolo, T’boli]; takul [in Mansaka]; Tangkew [in Agusan Manobo] tangke [in Tirurai] ; tangko, tangku [in Mangguagan, Diba-bawon], togo [in Manobo, Tirurai, Maguindanao], pagang [in Palawan].

Construction: The strings are numbered from one to six, lowest to highest pitch. The tube zither is formed from the same piece of bamboo. Fibres are cut from the tube and two small bridges are inserted underneath each string. The two ends of the body remain closed by the nodes at either end. The body maybe a whole tube or cut in half.

To help with the resonance of the instrument, holes are made on both nodes and long cracks are made along the body parallel to the strings. In the Kalinga group, men play the Kolitong at night as a solo instrument.

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