Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Heteroglots > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Culture: Fulani, Bauchi, Bolewa and Kanuri people.
Country: Mali, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Southern Chad and the adjoining areas of the Cameroon.
Region: West Africa.
Description: Thee Algaita is a common name for a type of shawm, that is played in the Savana zone of West Africa, particularly in southern Mali, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Southern Chad and the adjoining areas of the Cameroon.
Etymology: The Fulani instrument is called algaitaru, while in parts of northeastern Nigeria [e.g. Bauchi and among the Bolewa and Kilba peoples] it is called aligata; the Kanuri use the name alita and the Tiv agida. The instrument is an importation from the Maghrib and has carried with it not only the name ghayia but, in most cases, also the article ‘al’.
Construction: The Algaita is a shawm that consisting of a wooden body, sometimes it is made sectionally with a tapered cone, all covered in leather and a cup-shaped bell which is also sometimes covered with leather, which can serve as a joint between the cone and bell. The body is about 30 cm in length, and the bell about 10 cm in length. A narrow staple, at least 10 cm in length has a fixed flat, circular pirouette disc. both made of brass or tinplate, and carries a double reed made from stalks of wild grass.
Citations: Bibliography: Anthony King, K. A. Gourlay and Jeremy Montagu ; Websites: Oxford Music Online / Alghaita ;