Monday, October 4, 2010


This boy is playing the karinding, a traditional Sundanese musical intrument made of bamboo.

The karinding is a percussion instrument. It is played by puting it in between the lips and shaking it with the fingers to produce a rhythmical vibration.

There are two types of karinding: those made of the midrib of kawung (arenga pinnata) palm leaves and those made of bamboo. The former is said to have originated from the southeast of West Javanese area of Tasikmalaya, and the latter from Cililin (an area in the southwest of Bandung) and Limbangan, Garut (about 65 kilometers to the southeast of Bandung). In terms of shape, they are also slightly different. The former is shorter and is said to have initially been made by men, while the latter is longer and made by women. Such attribution is thought to have something to do with the fact that the shorter one (the 'kawung', male, karinding) can easily be stowed in a man's tobacco walet and the longer one (the bamboo, female, karinding) can be slipped into a woman's hair (and thus also functions as a hairpin).

The karinding is not just a musical intrument. In the agrarian culture of the Sundanese people where rice growing and cultivation occupies a central importance, the low decibel sounds that it produces have traditionally been believed and proven to be a very effective means of pest control.

To see how it is played and hear its sounds, here is a You Tube video that I borrowed from TejoFilm:

The karinding exhibition and demo was part the 4th Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival that was held this weekend in Bandung.


Randy said...

I have never seen one of these. Great post!

jeannette said...

So interesting Eki! It was a while before I heard the instrument -you're right, low decibel:)