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29501: lyall (comment) haitian banza (fwd)

jdlyall writes:

I had been thinking (while living in Hayti) about gourde banjos. I have played banjo for almost 40 years. Old timey style. Haitians use banjos for troubadour music, but they are usually tuned as tenor guitars. No fifth string used.

Here in exile in Humboldt county, usa, there is an active traditional music/instrument scene. There are at least two people who build gourde banjos. The one that I've seen is beautiful, craftsmanlike.

So I started searching the internet about gourde banjos. There are a number of people with nice websites who build new gourde banjos.

I also discovered that there is something called "the Haiti Banza", collected in 1840 in Hayti and residing in the Musee de Musique in Paris.

Searching the Musee site does not reveal the Banza to me.

Here is a link to a recreation of this, the worlds oldest Banjo/Banza.

This is fascinating. This guy studied the original and has created a duplicate, with the veve's and accidental knife marks on the woodwork.

There is supposed to be another ancient Banza, collected in Surinam in the 1700's and residing in Holland, but I can find no pictures or if it is complete.

Back country Haytians played the Banza! Tres Kul.

Nice drums are made today in Haiti, with adjustable goat skin heads. Good start on a Banza.

I've never seen a Kalabash for sale tho.