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The Susap Sepik is an artistically designed jaw harp in Papua style, made by Steev Kindwald and elaborately decorated with a fine soldering iron (pyrograph). This not only underlines the unique character of this Susap, but also hardens the bamboo. The bamboo, which has been dried for at least ten years, comes from France. In addition, Steev has attached a decorated bamboo ring to the end of the string, which makes plucking easier.
The Susap, which is one of New Guinea's traditional musical instruments, is played by numerous ethnic groups in Papua when they court a bride. By playing on the Susap, the man can court the beloved with a certain distance and tell her musically what feelings he has for her. In the case of a possible rejection, the musical abilities or the instrument itself can be blamed. In this way an embarrassing situation is avoided and the necessary interaction in the mostly small groups is not affected.
The playing technique of the Susap is very special as it is plucked towards the face and needs some practice. The narrow end of the reed is placed on the slightly open lips, while the string is used to pluck towards the nose. The mouth serves as a resonator and by modulating the air through the opening of the mouth, the movement of the tongue or the larynx the tones can be changed. If the technique is mastered, the plucking and the percussive sound are a great pleasure.
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