Name: Hosho.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Rattles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 112.13
Country: Zimbabwe.
Region: Africa.

Description: The hosho are rattles that are from Zimbabwe. The instrument consists of a pair of “maranka” or [mapudzi] gourds with seeds. The hosho are Zimbabwean musical instruments consisting of a pair of maranka [mapudzi] gourds with seeds. They typically contain hota [Canna indica, Indian Shot] seeds inside them. The hosho are used to accompany Shona music, especially mbira music.

They make a rattling sound that differs to what Western ears are accustomed to hearing. However, this accompaniment is essential when playing mbira and / or marimba music. So essential, in fact, that extra vibrating elements such as mirlitons, or buzzing membranes made from spider webs.

The spider webs are attached to the resonating tubes of marimbas and machachara [miniature Hosho made from seashells or bottle caps] are attached to the mbira and its deze. Mbiras and marimbas from Africa; and even other instruments, such as drums, will have some kind of rattles associated with their use.

The role of the hosho are the lead instruments as viewed by mbira players in Zimbabwe. Contrasting with the western view in the rattles providing accompaniment to the mbira during performance. A smaller version of the hosho is made of a wild orange called a damba, tied together with sticks and filled with hota seeds or pebbles.

Other related percussion instruments from Zimbabwe include the magavhu [leg rattle] and ngoma [drum]. One of Zimbabwes most respected Hosho players is Tendai Kazuru from Mbira deNharira ;

Description: Bibliography: Novitski, Paul [2000] “Hosho”. Dandemutande Magazine ; Williams, Michael [1997]. “Machachara” [PDF]. Percussive Notes Magazine. Archived from the original [PDF] Berliner, Paul [1981]. The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04268-9 ; Williams, Michael B. [2001]. Learning Mbira: A Beginning, HoneyRock. ISBN 0-9634060-4-3

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