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Handmade Naag Fani ( Serpentine Horn ) in Copper and Bronze


This rather unusual wind instrument has an untraceable origin, except that it is still found in the barren plains of Kutch, in Gujarat. Claimed to be a ritualistic instrument to appease Lord Shiva, it has been associated with holy men, mendicants and such other. Hand turned and coiled in the form of a serpent, its made of an alloy of copper and bell metal and is quite light in weight. Not to be found in a hurry again, this piece is priceless, if for nothing else, its very extinction.

Indias musical tradition dates back to the Indus valley civilization, around 3000 BC and one can trace its representation in the Vedas (ancient scriptures) referred to as sangeet sungeet - the three art forms of vocal, instrumental and dance, where taal (rhythm) and raag (melody) remain to this day the very essence of music and instrumentation. In fact, way back between 200 BC and 200 AD an ancient system natya shastra written by the sage Bharat Muni classified musical instruments into the categories of string, wind and percussion.

Varied instrumentation forms evolved across India thereafter, with their own traditional renditions and like the artist and artisan, are on the verge of final extinction. While these unusual instruments are playable, they come in their original semi crude form, just the way they have been turned by hand in villages, for village festivals over centuries. Your hand may help revive and perhaps sustain the very birth of music.

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