Karen wooden mouth harp

Karen sochay

As well as being used for courting the Karen Sgaw traditionally play the mouth harp to call the soul of another person. This has one of two purposes- the first being to help heal someone, the second being to gain control over them. They apparently also make the mouth harps from the ribs of umbrellas but I have never seen this. In the hands of a skilful layer can produce a range of clear harmonics and play tunefully as well as rhythmically, so it is often used just for entertainment with friends or to relax between working in the fields.

Karen musician, Chom Thong


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