devil's fiddle

photo: Waldemar Kielichowski © Institute of Music and Dance, Warsaw

Local name: wakat
Classification: 3 Chordophones / 32 Composite chordophones / 32-21-4 Composite chordophones sounded by scraping and beating the string
Maker: Bury Tadeusz
Date: 1999
Village / Town: Zwardoń
Region: the Carpathian region (Beskid Żywiecki)
Country: Poland
Owner: The Municipal Museum of Żywiec – The Old Castle, Department of Ethnography
Inventory number: MŻ-E/2650
Description: serving as a sound box is a bottomless can secured with screws to a straight bar in 1/3 of its length; fixed to the upper part of the bar, also with screws, are six jingles (can bottoms), three on each side; stuck on top of the bar is a devil's head trimmed with colourful ribbons; running along the bar is a single "string", attached to both ends of the bar and resting against the can; the bow is a straight baton cut lengthways, almost halfway through, to create three "teeth"; the baton's outer edges are carved to form uneven waves; the player hits the baton against the string and the instrument's body
Decoration: bar stained brown, sound box stained black, carved anthropomorphic devil's head stained dark brown
Measurements: 1680 mm
Materials: wood, metal, fabric
Sound compass, tuning: indeterminate
Performance practice: ritual musical tool used to create so-called ritual uproar; contemporarily used as a percussion instrument in Żywiec folk bands
Catalog card by: Agnieszka Pawlus / Zbigniew Jerzy Przerembski

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