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Keluri, Keledi or Enkulurai

The keluri or keledi, and the enkulurai are extremely rare bamboo free-reed mouth organs found in northwestern Borneo. These instruments bear a remarkable resemblance to the hulusheng, but contain 6 pipes instead of five and the pipes do not pierce the bottom of the gourd.

The keluri or keledi is played by the Orang Ulu or 'upriver people' of the interior of Borneo, and the enkulurai is played by the Iban people who live in the lowlands close to the coast. Both these instruments are made with a made a gourd wind chamber from which extend six bamboo pipes containing a bamboo or occasionally metal free-reed. The only difference in the construction is that the longest pipe on the Iban instruments is twice the length of the Orang Ulu keluri. Some Iban instruments reach over 6 feet in length, while the average instrument is only two feet in length.

Keluri were traditionally played for 'long dances' that were associated with the rituals around headhunting, but with the disappearance of headhunting in the region, these instruments are now seldom played or made. There are still a few elder players able to perform, but their music will likely disappear within a decade.

Country: Malaysia / Sarawak
Region: South East Asia / Borneo
Type: Free-reed

Keluri, Keldi, Enkelurai - free-reed mouth organ from Borneo
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002