Construction, distribution

Ancient Lithuanian Kanklės

Construction, distribution



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Picture: The kanklės of North Western Žemaičiai. ČDM Lt 2801;(APV 1994:148).

The body of Lithuanian kanklės is of the shape of trapezoid, most often with the thicker end cut from the left to right. It is made from linden tree, ash tree, oak, maple or black alder tree. The upper plain is from spruce or asp. 3 - 13 or more copper or steel 0,1 - 1 mm in diameter strings are stretched along the body. Though kanklės vary in sizes, their bodies are very proportional, made with enormous knowledge and taste. Most instruments found in Lithuanian museums are unique folklore art creations.

The first type Lithuanian kanklės of North Eastern Aukštaičiai are known in a part of old Selonian land. The area of spreading of the second type kanklės of Western Aukštaičiai and Žemaičiai agrees with IV - XII cc. cultural territories, linked with Semigolian and Samogitian tribes that are ethnically close to them, and it takes over most part of those tribes old lands in the current Lithuania. The area of the third type kanklės of North Western Žemaičiai coincide with the southern part of old territory of the Curonian tribes in North Western Lithuania, these type of kanklės of Suvalkiečiai were brought to South Western Lithuania probably by Žemaičiai (descendants of old Samogitians and Curonians) that came to this land during XV - XVIII cc. inside colonization (Fig. 2).




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Copyright © The Institute of Ethnomusic, 1996
Copyright © Romualdas APANAVIČIUS, 1996
Electronic publishing by Multimedia Center for Humanities, 1996