Bullroarer


Texts, photos, videos : © Patrick Kersalé 1998-2020, except special mention.


This sound instrument is mentioned by Keo Narom in his book Cambodian Music (p.269) under the name Kantrai Rai. We found its trace in the Kreung of Ratanakiri under the name ɛt

We call him "bullroarer" because we did not find any other terminology. Certainly this instrument does not whirl on itself but it hums like the rhombus itself.

It is a child's toy made from a coconut leaflet from which the three components are separated: the central rib and the side parts. We could explain how to make it, but as Napoleon Bonaparte said: "a good sketch is better than a long speech", so we have prepared a video on its manufacture and play.

The children of the countryside love to make this instrument. They spin it slowly or quickly, modulating the sound until this fragile object breaks. Then they make a new one, and this until exhaustion ...

 

This sequence was filmed at the Kreung of Kro Pou village in January 2012. The bullroarer was made by Jim.