Mouth harp

Registration number
Item name
Mouth harp 
Indigenous name
lonkng it 
Associated cultural group
Western Dani 
Pacific > Indonesia > Papua Province > Jayawijaya
Mr Anton Ploeg  
Acquisition date
January 01, 1962 
Acquisition method
Donated by Mr Anton Ploeg  
Raw material
Bamboo; string
H: W: 14 mm L: 610 mm D: 5 mm Circum:


Mouth harp consisting of two small harps carved from bamboo with a long piece of fibre string attached to the harps. Each harp is formed by three prings carved length ways, with one very thin prong in between two wider prongs. Length of each harp: 175 mm and 160 mm. Registration number 8321 marked on harp in black.

Research notes

Jew's harp made and played by men. The harp was held with strings sideways, pulling on string about 5 times a second and varying tone by opening and closing mouth [Ploeg catalogue card, 17/09/1962].

'Don't know when the artifacts were collected, but an article 'Acculturation movements amongst the Western Dani' by Ploeg & O'Brian in American Anthropologist Vol. 66 No. 4 p. 281, 1964 describes his research amongst the Dani of the Wagulum political community near Bokondini in the Central Highlands N.G. between 1960 & 1962 (on a research scholarship from A.N.U.). The artifacts donated are presumably from the Dani of this area.' [Source card].

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