Dec 1, 2014

The tumbi

The tumbi or toombi is a traditional North Indian musical instrument from Punjab.
Ektar is its bengali name. It is used to provide both a drone as well as simple rhytmic accompaniment to folk songs.  It may be the oldest stringed instrument in the Indian subcontinent. The ektar is described in ancient Sanskrit texts as the ekatantri vina, literally the "one stringed lute".

The ektar is very popular in folk music and has a strong rustic connotation.  It is very much associated with the saint Mira Bai.  The smaller Punjabi version (tumbi) is much associated with the bhangra style of song and dance.  Among the Gadaba and Paraja tribes of Orissa, it is known as dudumah and dung-dungi.


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