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Bungkau or bungkao

The bungkau is the jaw harp of the Kadazan and Dusun people of Northern Sabah, Malaysia, located on the northeast coast of the island of Borneo. The bungkau is carved from polod palm stem, and it is either shaved or peeled to obtain a two toned design. Often bungkau are fine tuned with a piece of insect wax. Many bungkau have a bamboo tube as a container. Bungkau can be heard quite often at festivals in Sabah, and can be purchased at small traditional handicraft stores in Kota Kinabalu. This instrument was collected in Sabah in the mid 1990s.

Country: Sabah, Malaysia
Region: Asia
Type: jaw harp

Bunkau - jaw harp from Sabah
Bungkau without case
Bunkau - jaw harp from Sabah, with bamboo case
Bungkau with bamboo case and tuning pitch
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002