instrument gallery logo
Sompoton or Sumpoton

The sompoton is the free-reed mouth organ of Sabah in northeastern Borneo. It is played by the Kadasan and Dusun peoples, and is still quite common. The sompoton has a gourd wind chamber from which extend 8 pipes arranged in two rows. There are bamboo reeds in seven of these pipes only, and three of these pipes do not have sound holes and are played by closing and opening the tops of the pipes with fingers of the right hand. The sumpoton can be played with the pipes pointing up, as is done with smaller instruments, or with the pipes pointing either sideways or down with larger instruments. The instruments range in size from 6 inches to 3 feet in length, with the average size of just over 1 foot.

A good site showing how sompoton are made can be found at a Sabah University site.

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

Sompoton - mouth organ from Sabah, Malaysia
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002