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The Gerudeng

The gerudeng is the jaw harp of the Iban people of Sarawak, Malaysia, located in the northwest of the island of Borneo, and of Kalimantan, the Indonesian province the takes up two thirds of the island of Borneo. Gerudeng are no longer played in Sarawak, and it is unlikely that they are actively played in Kalimantan. Most gerudeng are made from palm stalk, but one aluminum example was found. Gerudeng are tension harps, activated by sharp tugs on the string, and the only tension harps found on the island of Borneo. Gerudeng were courting instruments, but as most Iban have been converted to Christianity, all the traditional courting rituals have been eradicated. These instruments were collected in Sarawak in the 1990's but likely originate in Kalimantan

Country: Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo) and Kalimantan, Indonesia
Region: Asia
Type: jaw harp
Gerudeng - Iban jaw harp from Sarawak
Palm stalk gerudeng
Gerudeng - Iban metal jaw harp from Sarawak
Aluminum gerudeng
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002