Sound scarecrow


Texts, photos, videos : © Patrick Kersalé 1998-2021, except special mention.


Ethnic minorities in Ratanakiri use wind-powered sound scarecrows. That of the Kreung consists of a section of bamboo in which is practiced a slit. The ends are refined and bent at 90°. An external oscillating wooden flap is fixed in its center in order to randomly hit the two lips of what is called in organology, a "slit drum". Two sounds of different pitches are produced. A sort of fan made of braided palm leaves, fixed at the end of the device, provides a wind grip to amplify the movement of the drum. Several devices are attached to the end of bamboo culms erected in bunches, or in the branches of trees.

The sound scarecrows have a magical or only sound role. Depending on the case, they help keep away evil spirits or birds in the maturing rice fields.

This sequence was shot in Banlung (Ratanakiri) in February 2010.