January 2024: de lijst bereikte meer dan 1176 verschillende benamingen

January 2024: the list has reached more than 1176 proper (and nick) names


Thanks to the people who helped this list growing:

Lindsay Porteous [Scotland], Frederick Crane [Iowa, USA], Tapani Varis [Finnland], Henk van der Zee [Netherlands], Georg Decristel [Austria], Dr. Fred Gerrits [Australia], Steev Kindwald  [Far East/USA], Tran Quang Hai [Vietnam/France], Walter Maioli [Italy],  Robert MacLennan [Queensland], Daniel Roy [Quebec, Canada], Michael Wright [Oxford, England], Pat Missin [Jackson, USA],  Aksenty Beskrovny [Siberia], Mathias Esnault [France], Bernhard Folkestad [Norway], Étienne Rouleau-Mailloux [Quebec], Daniel Roy [Canada], Atep Nata [Java], Palmer Keen [Java], Dr. Brian Diettrich [New Zealand/Aotearoa], Gonzalo Ceballos [Argentina]; Aleksey Nikolsky [Russia] and others.

A special note for the person who has noticed that there are more names for the Jew’s harp, but not mentioned in this list. When you are that person, I will invite you to send me those names [with - as much if possible - information about
the location, the people, languages, islands, nations, reference, year etcetera]. Please write it to the e-mail address:


You have to scroll it all down




E EuropeEurope Europe Europe Europe Europe Europe Europe Europe


D U T C H  L A N G U A G E  A R E A


Netherlands / Lowlands / Holland: mondharp, mondharpje, mondtrom, mondtrom­mel,  muyl­tromp, mond­­tromp, mondtrompje, moel­­tromp­, moeltrompje, muiltromp, muil­trom­pje, troemp; Jeudy tromp and Joodse harp [last two are litteral translations of the word Jew’s harp], trompen [= to play on the Jew’s harp] jeugd­tromp [= youngster-Jew’s harp], snorre­ding[etje] [= roaring thing], bromijzer [= droning iron; translation from the German word Brummeisen], Oink-beest [= a beast that just says ‘oink’, a metap­hor from a Dutch fairy-tale by Nie­man/Zuider­veld, 1972], Gedach­ten­ver­drijver [= thoughts dispeller, metaphor used by Phons Bakx. 1992; is a translation into the Dutch by the archæologist Jaap Ypey (1917-1986) from the Italian word scacciapen­sie­ri, p. 215/1976 ]; Zorgenverjager [= dispeller of worries / also by Jaap Ypey, p. 215/1976]; speelke, speeltje [both from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the area of birth and childhood of the author of this nomenclature];

Friesland: mûl­har­pe


F R E N C H – D U T C H   T R A N S I T I O N A L   L A N G U A G E S


Belgium, Walloneye / Wallonie (=Wallonym / Wallon): gawe, giww-gaww, gaww, gaw; [to play the Jew’s harp: gaw’ter, gawî, gawyî, gawté ; a Jew’s harper: gawteû], epinette, tromba d’amore [historical/ironical names, Van­der­heij­den/Lemahieu], harpe juive [litteral translation of Jew’s harp], trompe-des-petit-enfants;

Belgium, Vlaanderen / Flanders: [general use] mondtrom; [from the past centuries:] teuter, tromp[e], speel­trom­pje, boerentromp [= farmers-Jew’s harp]; Belgium, Brabant: troemp, troem­pe, trompken

France: rébute [15th century], reberbe [16th century] guimbare [obsole­te]; bombarde, petite Lyre, trompe d’Allemagne [last three in a publication from Nancy, 1779]; guimbarde, trompe, trompe-laquais or trompe de la­quais [ob­so­le­te], joue, Jeu trompe [= tromp-playing], crancran, trompe de Béarn, gronde [obsole­te], rebube, rabube, épinette [ob­so­le­te; 1780, Laborde], trompe Juive [litteral translation of the English Jew’s harp], tambour buccal [= mouth-tambour; ob­so­lete]; champòrni and champoño [Mar­sei­l­le], fanfornia [Nice/­Pro­vence]; champagno, guindarro, gui­tarro [all from Occitania]; sem­so­nia [14th century, Les Pyrenées];

Corsica / Corse: riberbula


A N G L O – C E L T I C  /  B R I T I S H   I S L A N D S

England: standard: Jew’s harp; Iues trounk [16th century based a clerical er­­ror!]: Jue Harpes, Jue Trumpes [both from 1481]; Iewes trump[e], iawes trump[e]; [preceding centuries]: Jewes harp, jawes harp, Jew’s harp [since 1595], Jaw’s harp [writ­ten since 1711 in the way as Jew’s harp is written], jaw harp, mouth-harp, horn, Jew’s horn, Jaw’s trump [written in the way as Jew’s trump is written], Jew’s trump; crembala [Comenius, 1671]; worry killer [a local advertised translation from Italy, translated into English -- translation of scacciapensieri], thought dispeller [translated from scacciapen­sieri, via the Dutch “Gedachtenverdrijver”, Jaap Ypey/Phons Bakx]; phonoharp [Jew’s harp with a trumpet-like soundhorn, in Museum ‘The Shambles’, Newent];

North-East En­gland: gewgaw [= bauble; 1787], gew-jaw [Northumbria], Jew-gaw [the last two seem to be linguistic combined forms];

Scotland / Alba: trumpaidh, ributhe, ribup, rivupe; [four names in Gaelic [Campbell 1900]: trumb, tromb, tromp and truimb; gew­gaw; trump, trumph [last one in general use in 17th and 18th century]; De’ils trump, Devil’s trump, Dewill’s trump [last three names are con­demned, that’s to say, it were names given by the 16th-century witch-hunters]; twanger [Porteous, personal], giddy row [= awful noise; nickname by Nora Porteous, Lindsay Porteous’ mother]; region North Aurshire: Piperheugh-trump (iron trump manufactured in the lost village of Piperheugh, near Stevenston – obsolete - before 18th century)

Wales / Cymru / Kymria : sturmant, ystyr­mant [very similar to the word instrument]; biwba, biwbo, giwga, giwgan.

Ireland (Irish Republic / Éire / Poblacht na hEireann: trumpa, trumpadh


C I R C U M - G E R M A N  L A N G U A G E  A R E A S


Germany / Deutschland. standard: Maultrommel; Sumer von Triere [poetical name, Fr. Von Hausen, 12th century], Maultrum­me [1582, Fisch­­­art], Trumme [1586], Trumm [1629], Trummeisen [1629], Maul­trumpe [1654, Göring], Trummel [1715, Weigel], Maulbrum­mel [1777], Maul­drum­me [Schuppius], Zauberei­sen [1820, Kerner], Schnarre [1840, Schmidt], Trunsel, Trunz [both from Alsace 1907]; Mundeisen, Maul­har­fe, Mauldrom­ma, Mund­­harfe [last name is very rare in German language area], Brummelstahl, Brumm­stahl, Brummeleisen, Brumm­ei­sen [Praetorius, 1619], Kinn­backen­harfe [translation of ‘Jaw harp’], Maultrommla [Nef­flem, 1854; Schwaben], Judenharfe [translation of ‘Jew’s harp’], Cythara Judæorum [Skinner, 18th-19th century]; Mundgei­ge,  Maul­geige,  Maulgei,  Maulóór­jel,  Maul­orjel, Mauld­rom­mel [all from Saarland]; Mauldru­mel [Darmstadt]; Maultromme,  Maul­drome,  Maul­drom­bel,  Maul­orgel, Maul­­­har­mo­nika [all from Hessen-Nas­sau]; Maultru­mel [Süd-Hessen] Mulldrumbe, Mul­drum­mel, Maultrompe, Maul­trom­pete [all from Kassel-area]; Mülorjel [Nieder-Hessen]; Mûltrumpe [West­falen/­Nie­der­sach­sen]; Multrumpe, Multrom­mel [Bergisches Land/­Wuppertal, Nord­harz, Ahr­tal]; Multrom[m] [Elberfeld, Kleve, Kalkar, Aachen]; Multromp [Bröl­tal]; Fotzenhobel [obscene mockery name in South-Germany]; Drombe [Siegerland]. Obvious West Sla­vian influen­ces: Drum­me, Drumm­ei­sen [mixed with Brumm­eisen]. Latin forms: Trom­bula, Trom­bo­la, , Mundhar­moni­ka [since 1792], cremba­lum, Aura; Sorbian or Wendish: brumla, bruml­java, brumlawa, brumlado, brumlada

Swit­­zerland / Suisse / Schweiz / Svizzera. German language area: Trumpel [1511, Sebastian Virdung], Trumpeln [around Basel] Trümpi [Muotatal -- a player is called here Trümpner, to play on the Jew’s harp is called trümpnen]; Tre­molo [Bosco-Gurin], Tromff, Trümmi [kanton Luzern]; Trimpi, Trim­mi [both in kanton Uri], Trum­bel, Muul­trumme [= wrang­ling woman], Mul­trum [obsolete], Maulgeige; Muul Trummle, Muultrummle [last two in Kanton Bern], Maltrommel [last two in Swyzerdütsch-language];

Austria / Österreich: crembalum [1735, Hörmann], Maultrummel, Maultumbl, Trumml, Muultrum­mel, Muultrummle, Zupftrumml; Twangl, Dirndl-Locka [both from Stier­marken]; Maultrumml [Puster­tal]; Maul­orgel, Liabeisn [both Tirol]; mockery names: Stei­ermärker­trom­mel, Steiermärker-Trumml, Stroh­trom­mel,  Pilsen­trom­mel,  Schlüss­el­trom­mel, Tschuschnharpfn, der Ment­scha­fanga [last is from Salz­­burgerland]; typo-industrial names: der Deut­sche, der Ganauser, der Lyra, der Eichel

Esperanto: bûsoharpo


A L P I N E   &   R Ä T O – R O M A N I C   L A N G U A G E S


In the French Switzerland language area: rebibe [15th century], rbairbe, rebaire, re­baîrbe [Freiberger­land], bombarde, rebaîrbe [North Jura], rbiba, rbibe [last two from South Jura]; rbaîrbe [Freiberge], trompe de Berne. Italian language area: timpan, suna da bucca, trum­bla [last three in Bündner Oberland and Oberhalbstein]; variations on sym­fo­nia,

Räto-Romanic: zanfòrgna, cinfòrgna, zin­fòrgna; tschamforgnia [last from Engiadina/Engadin]; schanforgna, tschinforg­na [Grau­bünden]; North-Italian influence: spas­sapen­sieri, cacciapen­siere, scacciapensieri


B A L T I C   A R E A S  /  F I N N O - U G R I A N   L A N G U A G E S


Estonia / Eesti: mynn harpa [Swedish languaged popul.], пармупилль/parmupill [= bumble bee, horse-fly], kon(n)apill [= frog; from metal], suupill [made out of bone; compare Ostyak- & Vogul-names in Siberia], su pill; lotsa-pill, mokapill;

Lithuania / Lietuva: dam­bras, bandūrēlis [= metal], ban­dúrka; šeivjale, šeivéle;

Latvia / Latvija: zobasse, zóba spéles [= teeth-play], bandúra, zobasse [= metal]; варгас / várgas, варгана / várgana, wár­ga­na; варганс / várgans [Jew’s harp play­ing: варганат/varganat; for original sources, see Russia]

Hungary / Magyarorsźag: doromb [from dorombol = vibrate; doromb játék = to play on the Jew’s harp], drimba, szaj-doromb; dorong, dongó [last two are in dialect and in use on the pushta]


N O R D I C  &  S C A N D I N A V I A N   A R E A S


Denmark / Danmark: mundharpe [mostly meant for mouthorgan, obsolete as meaning for Jew’s harp], Jødeharpe, mundgige

Norway / Noreg: munnharpe (other grammatical conjugations: munnhorpe, munnhorpa, mundharpa, munnharp, munnspill

Sweden / Sverige: munngiga, mungiga, mungigan [1886], mungigor, munharpa; obsolete: Jødeharpe [translation of ‘Jew’s harp’], giga [1773], blånjng2 onomatopeia]

Finnland / Suomi: [Karelian]: munniharppu (derived from the Swedish ‘munharpa’), huuliharppu [= lips harmonica or mouthorgan], huulipeli, Suu­har­ppu; mārīstysrauta, mārinīrauta, suurauta, suu­peli,  pussipeli, turpajurra [last is a historical na­me, obsolete], taavetin har­ppu [= David harp; the last six names according to Tapani Varis]; pelirau­ta, suupelirauta, juutalaisharppu, juutalaisen harppu, pussipeli

Lappland / Sámiid Ædnan: njálbmefiolaš [is not a native instrument to the Lapps]

Iceland / Ísland: munnharpa, gyðingaharpa, kjálkaharpa


C I R C U M – M E D I T E R R A N E A N   L A N G U A G E S


Italy / Italia. trombola, crembalum, cymbalum orale [= mouth-bell], viabò [Lombardia, Vincenzo Giustiani]; [main­land of the North]: ribèba [15th century], rebebbe [Pied­monte, 16th century], reboeba [Cremasco], biobó [1608], arbebola [1840, Schmidt], rébebe [Cre­mo­na]; bebola, grillane, biobò [all in Toscana]; aura, zanforgna, ribeba, ribebba [all in Piemonte], brombola [Venice], harmonica, grillone, riluca; spassa pensieri [= enjoying thoughts, metaphor Bon­na­ni, 19th century] caccia pensiere, scaccia pensieri [= thoughts-dispeller]; variations on symphonia: ciamporgna [Piemonte], zanforgne [Modena], zampogna, sampogne [= bagpipe/equi­­­­va­lent for the na­tive bagpipe - Torino]; zanforgna, ci­nf­or­gna; callaruni, zapurra, zampurra, ganganarruni [all in Gallura]; garavlena [Romagna]; trumba, marrancuni [Campidano]; sanforgna, ribobia [both in Lombardia]; tromma, chitarra degli zingari [all in Calabria]; tromma, tromba degli zingari [all in Campania]; tintine [Friuli]; cianforma, sanforma, gianpornia [all three in Liguria]; tromma portafortuna [a lucky charm Jew’s harp against the hex]

Sardinia / Sardegna / Sardinna: sa trunfa, sa trumfa, sa trumba lodina, sa zampurra,
su piaboi

Sicily / Sicilia: [north] marranzanu [= cri­cket], maranzan [according to Georg De­cris­tel], marranzana, marranzanu sicilianu,  mar­ran­zano, marranzuni, moranzano, mar­ranzeta, ma­rauni [Catania], marrucchi­nu, mariolu di fera, ma­r­io­lo, mariuolu, maridu [Palermo]; [south]: ‘nganna­lar[r]unni [Agrigento], calarun­ni, gangamarun­ni, ning­a­larun­ni, nghinghilarruni, angalarunni,  gnagna­rarro­ne

Greece / Elláda: organon / organon [= instrument; used as a st­andard name], mpiamp;  mpiampώ [Greeks of Smyrna, 1840]; no Jew’s harp-tradition is known in Greece


I B E R I A N   P E N I N S U A L A   L A N G U A G E   A R E A S


Portugal / Portugal: zamponhe; berimbau, brimbau, birimbao [pro­ba­bly connected with Bantu-word ‘imba’ = song / Ortiz, 19th century].

Spain / España: Castilia, in general: arpa de boca [= mouth-harp], birimbao, birimago, berimbau, trompa; Aragon: sanfoina de ferrero [= blacksmith’s hurdy-gurdy]; Catalunia / Catalunya: champorgna, sanfoina, samfoina, sampso­nia, sansonia, sinfonya, sinfonia, synfonia, pampa; birimbao, verimbao, berimbao, berembao [last 3 words ob­viously connected with Bantu-notion imba, which means ‘song’]; Asturia / Asturias: arpa judia, trompa [last name also in Galicia]; Galicia: arpa de boca, trompa de boca; Basqueland / Euskal Herria: trom­pa, tronpa, tronpa musukitarra, muxu­kitarra,  mosu-gitarra [last three: kiss-guitar], mosumusika, aho-soinua; [there is in use also]: trompe de Béarn, trompe; Ge­ro­na: sinfoyna, samfonia, pampa; archaic names are: guim­bar­da, trompa inglesia, trompa de Paris, trompa galega, guimbarda provenzal [1890s], guimbarda napolitana [1890s]; pio poyo, pio pollo [= squea­king chicken; transferable: warbling skirt; also: girl with longings; metapho­ri­cal/moc­kery name for obsolete Jew’s harp of Andalusia]


E U R O – S L A V I C   L I N G U I S T I C   A R E A S


dombrā, brumbice [no references on both names]

Czech / Česka / Slovakya / Slovensko: obsolete: crembalum, trombola; stan­dard: drum­bla; dialects: drum’la, drombl’a, dromlja, droml’a, drm’a, drumlica,  dromblička, drnčály,  bzučák [= roaring thing], rapkač, rapčadlo [= rattle], bžundačka, břindačka,  brumlačka,  brnčadlo,  brnkáš,  brnkačka, brunda, brundica, grumbla, grumble, grumle; grmle [Hor­ň­ácko], drndačka [= pluck-thing, 1598, Vele­sla­vin]; drnkaäka; drmle [Moravské Valašsko]; [in Bohemia, on the highlands of Českomoravská Vysočina; [influ­ence of the German ‘Brummei­sen’]: brumajzla,  brumejzla,  bru­m­es­li železný;  brumagzl [1700, Vusin],  brumeisen,  brum­l’a, brum­bla,  brumle,  brumla; obsolete are: hausličky ústni [= fiddle for the mouth] [1598, Velesla­vin];

Poland / Polska: drumla, dremla; [before 1650]: dromla [17th century], bromble, brumla

Sorbia (Wendowie): brumladeo

Serbia / Bosnia / Croatia standard: дромбуля/drombulja; дрмбулй/drmbulj, dromb­ulye, drom­bulje; брунда/bru­nda; brundica, брукалика/brukalica; брукавика/brukavica; drombuljica, drombuljice, дромбуа/drombu’a; Kajkavian dialect of Croatia: brunda [= the grumbling one]

Slovenia: brumda, drumelza, dromlja, drumeljce, brumbize

Russia / Россйя:  standard: варган/vargan, wargan [in ancient Russian it means “mouth of a soul” (ref. TurboZen)] in plural form: варгани/vargani, wargani; арган/argan, орган/organ, ворган/worgan [probably vargan and argan [and allied words] are linguistic derivations from old Mid-Greek organ(on)/organ(on), = instrument] or from Vulgar Latin arganum [general for in­stru­ments]; notice that: vargi [Slavian] = mouth; warga [Polish] = lip; varga/vorga = mouth; means ‘to sing’ (among Lemko)]; варган-или-зубная-губанка/vargan-ili-zubnaya-gubanka [= lip-and-teeth-instrument]; зубанка/zubanka [зуб /zub = tooth; name is for Jew’s harp of Udmurt origin], труба/truba; in official use came: хомус/khomus [origin from Uralic linguistic clusters];

Belaya Rus / Bielorus / White Russia: дримба/drýmba, drïmba, várgan, varghan [East-Belarus]; вурган/ vurghan; варганисма/varghanisma [last both for Central-Belarus]; дрымба/drimba [South-Belarus]; друмла/drumla [West-Belarus]; argan; варгас-подковка/vargas-podkovka [= horses­hoe-shaped Jew’s harp]; кобза/kóbza [1879]

Ukrain / Ukrayina: дримба/drîmba; [from Hutsulshchyna:] drymba , drïmba [there’s a Ukrainian verb drymbati = to dance]; drumlya; dorombá [influence from Hungary]; worgan, órgan, várgan, vigran, varhan, vargane [see also Russia for these last six names]

Bulgaria / България: дръмкало/ dr’mkalo; дрънкало / dr’nkalo; дръбъзък / dr’mb’z’k; драмбой/ dramboj; drombla /дромбла; drimboj /дръмбой
Rumania / Moldavia: drîmbă,  drîmboaie,  drîmb, drînd, drînda, drîng; [Maramureş]: drâmbă, drâmboiu, drembà [Italic language influences in Rumania are absent here; it’s not sure if they are obsolete]

Albania / Shqipëri: vegël tringulluese



G Y P S Y   &   R O M A N I   L A N G U A G E S


In Gypsy-language/Rromani ćhib: grambola [derived from the Latin form crembalum]




Pan Pan-America Pan-America Pan-America Pan-America Pan-America Pan-America




United States of America: standard: Jew’s harp; Jaw’s harp, Jew’s horn [last two written in the way as Jew’s harp is written]; juice harp [Texas, 1940-ies]; jaw harp, Jaw harp, horn, Irish harp, trump [1982, Frederick Crane]; Snoopy harp [nickname by Bilyeu], Whitlow harp [industrial tradename of a maker], Juce harp [1837], Jewsaphone [= mega­phonic Jew’s harp, Gohring], Ozark-harp, Dusie Harp [industrial Jew’s harp-name, for radio & orchestral work, 1950], Mouth harp, Juice organ, harp, Jewish harp, Jewish mouth harp, Jew-harp, Jewsharp, Jews heart, mouthfiddle; marranzano pancake, Omaha Flapjack; Louisiana [Cajuns]: ruine-babines [originated from the French language of Nouvelle France, Canada] Canada, Quebec: bombarde [most common use; the name is the same as the little oboe in Brittany [Bretagne, France] or the lowest drone of an organ];
 Acadia (French parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edouard Island): bombarde. In the beginning of 1900-ies: trompe, brise-babine, musique de gueule; bombarlouche (the word bombarlouche has been introduced in 1930 by singer Madame Bolduc (1894-1941) in her song  ‘Mon Vieux est Jaloux’, in which she demonstrates the Jew’s harp as a bombarlouche itself. It’s a transfromation of bombarde; trompe [Nouvelle-France, 1698-1699 / in Montreal-area, 1919]; guimbarde [like the French in Europe], ruine-babine [more in use for mouth harmonica but also for Jew’ s harp], , rebuth [Nouvelle-France, 17th/18th century], gronde [historical name, around 1700]

Nunavut: qanir­valuutik [Inuit-langu­age recorded at Baie d’Ungava]


Cuba: trompa [obsolete], birimbao, trompa de Paris;

Haiti: militô [derived from French mirliton]

Costa Rica: arpa de hocico

South-America. standard: trompa; marimbula, marimbao [for the last two names the location and langu­a­ge are not known here]

Venezuela: trompa goajira [among Goajira-indians];

Columbia: turompa

Brasil: trompa [obsolete] berimboca, harpa de boca, berimbau de boca;

Chile: trompe, torompe, xompe, xompo [last three among Mapuche-people], colobrina [in Quatrahue, Malleco Province];

Argen­tina: trompa, trompo, trompita, torompe, billimboa; yapinah, ñaipini [= mosquito for the last two], tsonaj [= hummingbird], talú’pa, séli pasát [= bird-call], [last five names among Araucano/­Mataco-indians, Chaco Gua­lam­ba]; kadoheidé [among Tobas/­Pilagás], vat’aohanché [among Chulupí];

Bolivia: mapuíp [pre­colum­bian Jew’s harp, among nomadic Bauré-indians, East-Bolivia];

Peru: pirutu [offi­cial name in the Quecha-language], gualamban [Toba-in­di­ans]      



Asia Asia  Asia Asia Asia Asia  Asia



Persia: qopuz [15th century], zamburak, zanboorak, زنبورك

Turkye: aghz tanbūrasī, ağiz muzikasi [notwithstanding the lack of a Turkish Jew’s harp-tradition, still two official names could be found]

Israel, official use in Hebrew: nevel pe, נבל פה

For the remaining part there were no original Jew’s harp-traditions in the area of the Middle East

Afghanistan: čang, chang,  ﭽﺧﮓ [= harp, common among Pashtus];

cheng, tchang, chang ko’­uz, čangko’uz [Uzbek]; qobiz [Turk­men];

Pakistan: cang, chang [Sindh];

India, Central- and North-: morchang, munchang, mōōr­chang,  monchanga,  murchang,  mur­čang, mochanga, mor­changa, mor­­chank,  mučan­ga, khanrong

South-India:  mor­sing [in Karnataka, in Andhra Pradesh],  mōōrsing, mur­sing, moursing, mor­shingu [all combined forms of mouth and horn = srng­a]; mourching, morching

Rajasthan: morcha, changari [= small Jew’s harp], ghoraraju [Rhatwa-people in South-Gujarat], ghoraliyo,  ghorāliyau,  ghodyũ, ghodyun [all bam­boo Jew’s harps; Kalbe­lia-cast];

Madya Pradesh, Bashtar-region:  tendor,  ten­dohor,  kach-tendohor  [iron & bam­boo Jew’s harp-types; Muri­a-tribes];

Bangla­desh/­Bengal: ­yangroi [Lesa-population]; va­zang [is made of wood; Bampara-population];

Kerala: mukhar-shanq [= mouth-conch];

As­sam: gaganā, gonggina, goúgina, gogona [Garo-population], ka mien [Khasi-people in the Meghalay-pro­vince], jangroi, yheku, mazin [last one is in use in Nagaland];

Deccan: tonda ramma [in use among the Chen­chu-tribes];

Tamil Nadu: mugar-sing, நாமுழவு, அல்லது, முகச்சங்கு;

Nepal: kha-wan(g) [Dolpo-pa-tribe/Thakali-tribe]; binaiyo, binayo, malingo [last one is ma­de out of cane; last three names among the Nepalese po­pulation]; чангу / tchangu, reké [made out of rush], ma­chin­ga, murchunga, murcungā [last 5 names in use among Sunawar-population]; macúnga, machún­ga [Rai-population]; murjanga [Ta­mang­-population]; kom-i [Limbu-population]; kha-rna [= mouth-tam­bou­rine; Thakali-population, South-Tibet], srug-ma [made out of rush-straw], tsampa [made out of barley-straw; the last three names among the Tukucha (Tukucha also live in Tibet)]; gon kap [Tamang-population in the Timal-region]



 U R A L I C   L A N G U A G E S


The linguistic forms, as a name for the Jew’s harp, pre­sent in Eurasiatic, Ob-Ugrian, Uralic and in some Turco-Altaic or any other palaeo-siberian language cluster, can be related to three different mea­nings of the name: 1. as a string[instru­ment]; 2. as a throat­[re­so­nator]; 3. as a name for an insect (specifically because of the roa­ring noise)] among Chuvash: вархан/varkhan; varám-túna, varám-túma, warchan; палнай/palnay, kúpas [= musquito; a metal Jew’s harp]; among Mari: kovïzh, kovýzh, kabás, kabásh, umshá-kovh;

Kirghiz: темир комуз/temir komuz, te­mir komouz [= iron lute], ooz-komuz [= mouth-lute], kïguatch coz komouz, kobys-chungur; komus [= cock­chafer]; жигач-ооз-комуз / jigatch-ooz-komuz,  жыгач ооз комузе/ zhygach ooz komuze;

Armenia / Hayastan / Հայաստան: бэрни вин/berni vin;
Turkestan: among Turk­me­n: гопуз/gopuz, kобус/qobus, qobiz, kopys, kовуз/qowuz, гапыз/gapyz; among the Khazaks: шан-обыз/shan-kobyz, шон-кобыз / shon-kobyz, kil-kobyz, komyz, komous, kabys, koubys; among the Tatars: кубиз/kubiz [influence from Finno-Ugrian origin], kobus, kubýz, komys; among the Bashkirs: кубыз/ kubýz, кумыз/kumýz, kumýs; agách-kubýz, agách-kumýz [last two are made out of wood], темир кумыз / temir kumyz, агас кумыз /agas kumyz; temir-kubýz, temir-kumýz [last two are made out of iron]; among the Udmurt: zubánka, umkrés; among the Sojots: koms [1895, Ostrow­s­kich] kozulun-komys [recorded by Ems­hei­mer]; qowuz, qobus; among the Uzbek: cang kavuz, ceng kavuz, чанг-кобуз/chang-kobus, chang-kavuz, temir-chang, chang-ko’uz, чангковуз/ changkovuz; among the Tadjik: tschang kobus, chang-kobuz, temir-chang, changi zanona; at the borders of the river Jinesei: kiguatch coz komous;




 C I R C U M - S I B E R I A N   L A N G U A G E   A R E A S


Altai / Алтай: комос / komos; temir-komus, kobys-tyunyur [its name is compared to a tambourine], komys [= cock­chafer] kho­mouss; ат-комыс / at-komys, кой-комус / koj-komus, тая комус / taia komus,  челер комус / cheler komus;

Tuva / Тыва: temir-khomus, эяаш-хомýс / əyásh-khomús /  дая-хомýс / daya-khomus [last two are made out of honeysuckle-tree], söösken-khomus [made out of the mountain rose-willow], charty-khomus [consists of a flat chip of wood and two arms as a frame], yjach-chomus, йияш-хомус / yiash khomus [last three names for wooden Jew’s harps], demir-khomus or demir-xomus [made of iron]; kuluzún-kho­mús and kuluzún-komýs [both: wooden, need­le-sha­ped Jew’s harps]; sheler khomus [wooden or bone Jew’s harp with a string for contraction], kabás; Khakasi-population: khomouss, тимир-хомус / timir-khomus, темир-комус / temir-khomus;

Yakutia / Sakha / Саха: timir khomus, хомус / khomus, мас хомус /mas khomus (prototype made of a wooden chip); Kachinz-popul.: koms; common in Samoyedic languages: komis; Ostyak/Vogul: túmra, tómra [both from wood]; suup­túm­ran [made from bone]; also present [from a Turco-Persian root]: qobis; Buriats [Irkutsk]: хур / khuur, khur [= string]; Dolgan-area: khomús, барган / bargan, баргаан / bargaan, унгуох барган / unguoch bargan;

North-East Siberia [populations]: Nanai: kunká, kungkhá [to play the Jew’s harp = kung], konká, konkáy, muené, pangapoan [the last name em­pha­sizes the needle-shape], муэнэ / muene, мэнгэ / menge, кунгха /kungkha, пангапоан / pangapoan; конкай / konkai; Udzgejch-population: кункай / kunkai, конгкой / kongkoi, момо кункай / momo kunkai; Manegre-popul., Upper Amur-delta: kamuti [bronze Jew’s harp]; among the Ainu of Sachalin: mukkuna, moexkoena;  Oroks: кунга / kungá [made of metal], muhonyu; мухае / mukhae, кункай / kunkaj; Nivch or Nivkh: quingon, quongon, quoŋgoŋ, жаканга / zakanga (iron Jhp), канга / kánga, vych­­­ranga [vych = metal], koj kan/кой кан , khozón,  конгонг / konga chnyr, конга xнир (prototype Jhp made of grass) / kongong, конгоонг / kongoong, выч-ранга / vytch-panga,  кунгахкеи / kungakhkei; тиф-канга / tyf-kanga (Jhp with wooden frame and a pin fixed on the outer side of the lamella); пасла вутканга / pasla vut’kanga (idioglottic Jhp in complete frame made of brass) - Even: кункон / kunkon [an idioglot type], kóngkukan, гявкан / gyav­kán, баргавун / bargavun, гаукан / gaukan, игун / igun; Negidal: конкихи / konkikhi, конгкихи / kongkíkhi [kon(g) = morpheme for a characteris­tic sound, kl = to let it sound, khi = suffix that creates the noun],  мухэнэ / mykhene; Oroch: кункай / kunkai, кунгкай / khungkái, кунган / kunkan [kun = a onoma­to­poe­tic morpheme, kan = to let it sound] мухэнэ / mykhene,; Udegei: kongkoy [a metal Jew’s harp, idioglot/hetero­glot], kunkay, kunkey; kumikáye [= wooden Jew’s harp]; among the Ul’chi: кункай / kunkai, кунгай / kungay, панга / panga [= metal], mug­khé­ny, мухэлэ / mukhene; Evenki: кордавун / kor­da­vun, kon­gip­kévun, kondyvkon, кэнгипкэвун / ken­gip­ké­vun [all are Jew’s harps cut out of bone]; panár, purgip-kavun, pangár, tergil bakávun [all are metal Jew’s harps], конгипкавун / kongikavun, пургипкаун / purgipkaun, пэрнипкэвун / perinpkevun, тэргилбакаун / tergiabakaun,  пэнгипкэвун / pengipkevun, пангэвкаун / pangevkaun; Sel’kup: pəŋgar [Wasson, 1968], punggar, пынур/pýnyr [= buzzer; pynyrko = to buzz], al’pýnyr [= mouth­-buzzer], kezyl pýnyr [= metal buzzer], pol’pýnyr [= wooden buzzer] кызыл-пыныр / kyzyl-pynyr, поль-пыныр / poly-pynyr; Kereki: ваннэ яй / vannè yay; Koryak/­Itel­men/­Chukchi: варыга / varyga, ваарган / vaargan; ванни-яяр/vanni-­yayar, ванны ярар / vanni-yarar, ванни-яяй / vanni-yayay; the Chukchi also use: зубной бубен/zub­noi­ buben [last two names mean teeth-tam­bou­rine] ванны ярар (дерево, кость, металл, китовый ус); Kets: пумыл /pumyl, pyml, lyumel’ [made of wood or bone], пымель / pymel’, пымыль / pymyl’; Nenet- (or Nench)-population: вывко/vývko [= hummer]; Tuvinchi: демир-хомус / demir-khomus, темир-хомус / temir-khomus, чарты хомус / charty-khomus, ыяш-хомус / ýyash-khomus, кулузун комус / kuluzun-khomus [bamboo]; Khanti/Mansi: тумран / tumran, тамрэ / tamre, тамрянг / tamrjang, томра / tomra, тумрэ /tumre; Yukagir: ванна ангананг / vanna anganang
Mongolia / Монгол Улс: Buriat-people [obsolete names for shaman-Jew’s harps]: aman-chur, аман хуур / aman khuur, amon khor, aman tobshuur [all four meaning: lip-string; in present these names are associated with the Jew’s harp and also with the mouth-harmonica; chur [Cyrillic хур or хор = khur or khor] can be connected with Churši Noon/Хурсы Нун, the ‘Lord of the Iron Strings’ and the Jew’s harps among the Buriat-shamans], booglin [shaman Jew’s harp]; temür khuur, temür-chur, tömör khuur, tömör xuur, tömör hel khuur [brass Jew’s harp], təmər khor [all four meaning iron string], хулсанр хуур / khulsang khuur, хулсан хуур  / khulsan khuur, hulsan hel khuur [last three for a bamboo Jew’s harp], тəмəр аман хуур / tömör aman khuur, thel khuur, хел хуур / khel khuur [= tongue fiddle, name for a wooden Jew’s harp]; kuru [last in Manchur-language]; jil khör [= tongue-string or language-string; Darkhat-population]; yassan khor [Jew’s harp made of a bone]


 T I B E T O – B I R M A N   &  J A P A N E S E   L A N G U A G E S


Nippon / Nihon / 日本  / Japan: mukkuri, koukin [= mouth-harp], ko-kin [previous three are standard for the Japanese language]; kutsibiwa, kuchibiwa [= buzzing lute; Honsiu]; kuti no koto [= mouth-zither], mukkuna [Ainu-people, Sachalin], Ainu-mukkuri, mukkuri [made of sabita- wood, among Ainu-people, Hokaido], mookh-kuri; kannimukur, kanimukkuri [last two are metal Jew’s harps among Ainu-people, Hokaido]; kyakon, biwabon, biyabon [from Portugese linguistic origin - obsolete now]

China / 中國: standard words: k’u k’in, kiou-kin, kou-qin;  kou xiang, kouxian [= 3- or 4-bladed mouth strings], gue gueq [three small bamboo Jew’s harps played together in one set, among Naxi-people]; kuhuang, zhuzhi kouhuang [= bamboo Jew’s harp], jinshu kouhuang [= metal Jew’s harp]; hoho [among the Yi-people]; k’ou-hsien; standard for North-China: k’o-chin, k’ou-ch’in, koqin, k’o-ch’in, kuqin [all connected with the Japanese name koukin]; Yun Nan:   kouhuang qin,   yòu chēng kŏu huáng,   kŏu xián,  zuĭ qín, huang, hwang [the last two are derived from the archaic no­tion g’wâng = free reed], tieyehu­ang [obsolete iron-leaf Jew’s harp; Ch’en Yang, ± anno 1094], helang [bamboo Jew’s harp; Wa-popul.], tushihuohuo [2-lamellae-Jew’s harp], magahuohuo [3-lamellae-Jew’s harp], sixuanhuohuo [4-lamellae Jew’s harp], longgûh or long-gê [3 or 4-lamellas Jew’s harp, some­times made from bullet-cases; Yi-population]; zhai [bam­boo/metal Jew’s harp; Li-population, Hainan];

South-China: ²kwuo-¹kwuo, ³ka-²kwuo-¹kwuo [last name is pluc­ked bamboo Jew’s harp of the Na-khi], ¹dta-²kwuo-¹kwuo [chord-tracted wooden Jew’s harp of the Nakhi; also among Ta-li-Minchia in Yun Nan]; ncav [in the white dialect among White-Hmong in the Guangxi Zhuang-district]

Vietnam / Vit Nam: tuong [Are-population]; tong, pang teu ing [Muong-population]; kong-kle, kon hle [made out of teak-wood, Sedang-tribe], rhnui [last three names of Sedang-population]; ngoêc, nggoec [iron Jew’s harp; Mnong-/Muong-gar-population]; goeh, göch [Rhadé-population]; guat [Roglai-population]; rabn cas [general name among the Hmong]; toung [among Koho-, Maa-, Sre-population]; goc, gôč [from the area of Viet Boc, Ede-tribe]; đoc tau đan môi, đan môi, đan môi tre, đan môi sat [four names among Black-Hmong and Flower-Hmong (or Hua Miao) - explanations: đan = instrument; môi = lips; tre = wood;­ sat = metal]; röding jörai, röding [Jörai-population]; hoon toeng [Thai-population]; djam [Sa Pa-district, N-Vietnam]

Taiwan / 华民: ku-chin [in general, under influence of the Chinese culture]; tiv2, datok [last one is made with a brass lamella in a wooden frame; both names from the Ami-tribes, East Taiwan] tubuw sepat, tubu sepatz [bamboo-Jew’s harp with three or four metal lamel­­las; among the Seedeq-tribes] – among the Atayal-tribes: lubu [a general word], lubu qaw qaw [one-lamella Jew’s harp], balaz duluk [four-lamellae Jew’s harp], duk dulduk, sain duluk [half wood/half metal Jew’s harp, tuned in secund major] robo [bamboo Jew’s harp with 4 lamella’s of metal]; - among the Bunun-tribes: honghong

Cambodia / ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា: angkuoch, ankuoċ [Angkor-Wat; in use among Kuy-people in Preah Vihear-area, border of Thailand]; nvatt [Bönon­]

Birma / Pyidaungsu Myanma Naingngandaw: gougina, gaganā, gonggina [last three of the Garo-popul.]; mago [a three Jew’s harp-set for playing simultaneously; Lisha-tribe, Šan-state]; chæi [single bar Jew’s harp among Lakhers]; t’xe [among Karen-tribes]; pyē, pau, hoon toeng [last 4 names in use at the Lisu of Šan-state];

Tibet / བོད་: k’api [obsolete from the Salouen-valley]; kha-rnga [Tukucha-population]; kuxxé [string pulled brass Jew’s harp], bangsu [bamboo Jew’s harp], kavrang [Jew’s harp made out of iron];

Laos / ລາວ: rab ncas, tōi [made out of brass; both names in use among Hmong-populations]; hūn [Lao-population]; anking [in use among the Maram]; hroong [among the Khmu Ou-people in the Highlands of North-Laos];

Thailand / ราชอาณาจักรไทย : ata [Lahu-population]; saga2 [general; an influence from Sumatra]; jong nong/จ้องหน่อง [in use in Central-Thailand]; yangong [last name was recorded of a wooden type longer than 100 cm!], shong nong; rab ncas, tōi [out of wood; both names from Hmong-populations.]; huen/หืน [in use in Northeast-Thailand]; hūn toong [Akha-people], hūn [Lao-population]; a¯hta˘ [in use among the Lahoe-nyi of Northeast Thai­land]; kèmbal [Aryanaprathet – corrupted from the French ‘guimbarde’]


I N S U L A R   L A N G U A G E S   S O U T H – E A S T  A S I A


Some general proper names: dongke, oedjang, krindingan

Indonesia: génggong [standard Bahasa], harpa mulut [Bahasa-translation of the Dutch word mondharp (former colonial language in Indonesia)]

Bali & Lombok: génggong lanang [made out of arèn-palmwood or pohon jako­-wood; tuned in a masculin principle] génggong wadon [made out of arèn-­palmwood, in a feminine tuned-principle]; for Jew’s harp-orchestration on these two islands: gamelan gengénggonggan = Jew’s harps-orchestra]; ging­gong, djing-gong, gengon, gingon [last 4 words from Malaysian origine];
Bali: génggong klopokan [= bamboo Jew’s harp with clapper at the end of the string – according to Kindwald this type is very rare nowadays]; selobér [plucked Jew’s harp, was obsolete in Bali, but the type seems to have a revival in its production]

Lombok: génggong sassak [among Sassak-population]; antèr, antèl [name for a metal Jew’s harp among the Sassak in East-Lombok]; slober, sélober [just found in a single community]

Sumatera / Sumatra: hodong2 [= leaf-stalk aren palm; Simalungun-Bataks]; popo, gogo [in Aceh, among Gayo], djouring, juring [Lampung-Krui-area], saga2, zagah2 [Pakpak- and Douring-popul.];

Djawa / Java: karinding awi [bamboo Jew’s harp of Sunda], karinding [Jew’s harp of arènpalmleaf, with forked (double) lamella, Sunda]; rinding, rinding wesi [wesi = iron], karinding besi, karinding beusi [besi, beusi = iron], karèng [made out of bamboo; 5 last names from Central-Java]; karinding rakit [three-lamellas Jew’s harp of wood, Baduy-popul., Bantam-Sunda], karinding towel (innovation by Asep Nata), bahan bambu (Central-Java); grinding [three-lamellas Jew’s harp]; the three-lamellae specimens have to be intoned by beating the thumb on the base of the frame.

Madura: ginggung
East-Java: génggong

Borneo / Kali­man­tan: gariding, tahoentong, garinding [Dayak], stobung [Land-Dayak]; engsulu, rudieng sulu [both among Lake-Dayak]; aping [Kayan-tribe], tong buweh [Mo­dang]; kuriding [among Banjar-people in Tanah-Laut, Hulu Sangai and Banjar Bakula, all in South-Kalimantan]; rudieng, giriding, teruding, dongke, gendang untuk ‘mulit’ [general use]; uding, uring

Mentawai Island:  jajaok, je­joak

Nias Utara / Nias-north: duri

Nias Selatan / Nias-south: druri bewe

Flores: ginggong, kědang [19th-centuried Jew’s harp, location: Larantuka, made by Solor-people from Lamahala], gènggo, robe [very small Ngadanese Jew’s harp of palm­wood], égo [Central-Flores], lědo [Riangwulu], wěda [Paluwé isl.]; in the Nagé-language: wěto [Boawaé], kobèng [Mbai]; in the Manggarai regency: nèntu [Rutèng], kom­bing [Rajong] – (all Flores names collected by Jaap Kunst, 1942);

Sumba: nggunggi

Timur: nago oa [of bamboo], knobé, knobé-oh [Cen­tral-­Timor], nago besi [of iron], keit besi [= iron blade],

Timór Lorosa’e / East-Timor: pepuro, pepur; [Atauro-island] karkeit, kakeit

Bonerate: rinda [made out of bamboo];


- Tengah / Minahasa: oli [orkes oli = vernacular name for a Jew’s harps-or­ches­tra];

- Tana Toraja (= Land of the Toraja’s): karombii, karombi [Sa’dang-Torajas]; pa’karombi, waringi [among Torajas in general],
- Sulawesi Pusat / Central Sulawesi: yori, kayori [Kailinese area];

- Sulawesi Utara: pare [Tomini-culture, North Sulawesi];

Butung / Buton Island / Pulau Butung: ore-ore mbondu, ore ngkale;

Muna Island / Pulau Muna: karinta

Maluku / Moluccas: kiomie [Nualu-culture];

Aru Islands: berimbak [Portugese influence from berim­bau]; Buru-isl.: tingkobi [made from jagan aren-palm­wood], woringi [Torajas]


Pilipinas / Philippines: alibaw, olat, onat, onnat [last three names are for a brass Jew’s harp-type]; kulang, barimbao, barimbo, kulang [last one is made out of bamboo; last three names in use among Tagalog-population]; arimbo [last name of Spanish influence]; kinaban [Hanunóo-tribe]; ab-a-fu, abáfyu,  abafiu,  ab-a-fü,  abafiw, aphiw, afiw [all words belong to the Bon­toc-Igorot dialect]; bikung, bi’ung, biqqung, bik­kung, guyd, guyud [are brass Jew’s harp; last six names in use among Ifugao-tribes of Kiangan and Banaue]; kulaiñg [Kotabato-tribe of Tirurai]; giwong, onat, ulibao, uli­baw, kebing, kobing [Maranao], kubing [in use among Manobo-, Lanao-, Kalinga-populations]; kumbing [Ubo- and T’boli-tribes, Lake Sebu, South-Cotabato]; balingbao [made out of bamboo; Bagobo-population; derived from the Old-Spanish birimba­o]; kolibao, conlibao, konlibao, kalibao [all four Tingguian-culture in Luzon], purivan [made out of bamboo], agiweng [made out of brass; last five names among Tinguian-population]; ko-ding [Ibaloy-tribe]; kulimbau [common name among the Igorot]; aroding [Palawan]; aru-ding [Tagbanua] kolibau [Tingguian]; kulaing [Yakan]; kading, koding [Igorot-tribes of Nabaloi]; subing, subiñg [in use among the Bisayan, Philip­pinos and Iraya-Mangyan tribes of Mindoro; the subing consists of two privy parts: tiwtiw = lamella, penis; ateg = frame, vagina]; kulibao [made out of an unknown sort of wood; in use among Negritos/ Baluga]; oribao [Isneg-population]; ediokeko [in use on the island Enggano; obsolete now]

Sarawak [part of Borneo]:
teruding, bungkau, bungkao [both in use among the Dusun-people], gěruděng, giriding [Iban-Dayak]; rudien sulu, ensutu [out of metal; both names among the Lake- or Sea-Dayak], junggotan, jinggong [last two among Bedayuh-popul.], stobrou [Moro, Sulu Archip.];

Sabah [part of Borneo]: bungkau [Kadazan peop­le], turiding;

Malaya Peninsula [Semenanjung Tanah Melayu]: ginggoeng [an acculturated name from Indonesia and insular Southeast-Asia, in use among the protomalayan tribes such as the Jakun]; anoin [of protomalayan origin, in use among the Orang Seman-population]; juring rangguin, gingon [Senoi, Sakai, Temiar]; jyrin [Kelantan-district]; genggong sakai [Sakai-tribes]; rangoyd [Lanoh-tribe]; rangun [Jahai-population]




sia Melanesia  Melanesia Melanesia  Melanesia Melanesia  Melanesia



Vanuatu / New Hebrides: tawaya [made from the bark of the native cab­bagetree]; Espiritu Santo Island: gilgil (name for a heteroglottic precursor of the Jew’s harp)

Solomon Islands: Nissan: mabu; Malaita: kwadili [To’abaita-tribe]; Buka: ookooko; Santa Isabel: neve; Bougainville: tankuvani, kove-kove [Rotokas], kong-kong [Halia]; Norfolk Island: mike Bismarck Archipelago / New Britain: kaur [= bamboo; Gazelle Penin­suala]; New Ireland: ngab [King-tribe];

Niu Gini / Papua New Guinea: standard and most common in use: susap [Pidgin for Jew’s harp]; general in use, but without special references: harim  susap, pom-pom,  pum­bune,  bom-bom,  kalin­gu­ang,  galinquang, ding dong; tambagl [Chimbu-tribe, Kuman-language]; gwb [Kalam people]; uluna, [Bosavi-Kaluli], tambag [Angalimp-Minj-tribes]; silib [Yuri-culture]; tofugo, tofuro, tofugona [all from the Jate- (or Yate-) language-area]; hirima [in Tairora-language area]; tombagl [Meaim language-area]; lino, lin, ngau [all three in Enga language-area]; abid [Waina-culture];  fomikaue [Jagaria language-area]; hotoro [Ino language area]; wege [in Dumaka-language, Onuma-region, prov. Chimbu]; tapalle Simbu/Jiwaka-district.

Papua, Papoea / West-New Guinea: tungge; toka2 [little Jew’s harp], momborsa [tall Jew’s harp; the last two found in the language of Samarokena, district Sarmi, Apauwer-river];

Central New Guinea: tabale [Golin, in the Dom language area], tàblimé [Salt-Yui]; Eastern Highlands: wano [Agarabi], futjien wakan [Asmat-tribes], ontoi, ontóímá [Auyaana-Kosena], ponro [Awa], piran­daza [Barua], sipilohi [out of bamboo; Bena-Bena], ondösa [Binuma­rien], ogíné [Foré], ondo’ni [Gadsup], mbala­vala [Asaro], tapelle [womans Jew’s harp, bamboo - Chimbu or Simbu border near Jiwaka province], hónto [Kamano, in Kafé-language, Kainnatu district], hóndo [among Karafu, in Kafé-language], hontua [Kanite], kóí [Siane], oqoka [Tairora], oqtóma [Usarufa]; East-Sepik: bobuhul [­Bahi­nemo]; turbei [Tekin Valley] torbing,savyk, sapyt [last two names among the Iatmul]; Star Moun­­tains, West-Sepik: susaf; Madang: dumbing, ken ndom­bing [Surio]; Dreikikir-district: binatang [precursor of the Jew’s harp as a buzzing sagobeetle, among the Wom- or Wam-speaking tribes]; Milne Bay: veve [Daga]; Morobé-dis­trict: beg­nankr [Snake Valley, Buang-pop.], madar­ang [Adzera]; begog, agis [= l­i­t­tle cord; both from the Buang], biy goy-goy, horouves [Kuni­maipa], bajoog [Manga-Buang], kolanduwei [Bian­gai], siringa [Waffa], begu [Suena], tompupae [= penis; Wajokeso/­Am­pale], wilimp [Weri], bigon [Dani]; the North: pupuaka [Managalasi], bebetoe [Upper Managalasi], bemudo, bigoru [both among the Yareba]; Biak/­Tanah Merah/Lake Sentani (Papua): songer; pipo, bibo [both among the Roro-tribes]; Southern Highlands: moio; hili yula [Huli-tribes], dameno [Foi-tribe in Kutubu]; Western Highlands: ŋawmbo [Narak], gabudi [Kobon], gaub [Mareng], tambat [Wah­gi]; West-Sepik: ‘mengugo [Amanab], talaam [Tifalmin], tálaam [Telefomin], n’džondžo [Washkuk], tibár [Watapor]; Northeast: tanguri [Bariai], pingoru [Orokaiva]; Geza-region: darumbere,  darubiri [turnip-shaped Jew’s harp of bamboo/wood],  dàrombi; Portu­gese part of New Guinea: balimbo [derived from berimbau]




lynesia Polynesia  Polynesia Polynesia Polynesia Polynesia  Polynesia

  sia Micronesia  Micronesia Micronesia Micronesia Micronesia  Micronesia




Polynesia: standard name: utété

Marquesas Islands: utété, ukēkē, tita’a kohe, titapu

Hiva Oa: titapu

Rabi: karebwerebwe [= to tap; Jew’s harp-precursor made from a coconut midrib leaf + strip of palm-leaflet]

Tonga: utété, mokena

Cook Islands: pokakakaka [Aitu­ta­ki]; tangi ko’e [Mangaia]; vivo [Puka-Puka/­­Tua­motu or Danger Islands]

Aotearoa/New Zealand: rooria, rōria, kukau, pakakau; pakuru, paakuru [the last two are obsolete when made out of wood; it was beaten with a wooden bar of 15cm; later there was a survival but then the instrument was made of metal and, even more, of whalebone]

Rarotonga: titapu

Samoa: utété

Hawaii Islands: nī‘au kani [= singing splinter, singing shiver], utété, ukēkē [all obsolete]


Caroline Islands/Palau: tum tum ra lild; Polowat, Pollap, Pulusuk-islands: filipwow [from recording collection: Micronesian Music Project, 1979]; Chuuk: filipwow, tinipwow [Brian Diettrich, 2009: 305];

Pohnpei Island/Pingelap Island: susap, didipwiapw [Diettrich, 2011: 226/ the last name was probably imported from Pingelap atoll], keseng [a general term for “sound producer” / Christian 1899]  

Marian Archipelago: belem­bau­pachot [influence from Portu­gese berim­bau]; Guam: belém­ban­-bátchot [Portugese influence; Chamorro-popul.]
  in general use: tanleo, paidama, kalinguong





Africa Africa  Africa Africa Africa Africa  Africa



Congo: muzumbi [made out of raffia-leave]

Niger/Nigeria: bambaro [Songhay-tribe]; bamboro, zagada [last: foreign import, obsolete; both were from European origin; Jew’s harps among Zamfara-Haoussa tribes]

Niger: biliaro [Haoussa-tribes]

Nigeria: aduvut [ vary rare, venecular wooden type among the Rukuta-population]




Tanzania: koma [instrument that has parallels to the Jew’s harp; it is made of bali-wood; Tanganyika, Sham­bala-tribe]

Burkina Faso: dondo­luru [native mouth-lamella; Fulbe-tribes];

Cameroun: bomboro [from European origin], boomaro [Fulani];

Malagasy Republic/Madagascar: lokanga viva [vernacular name but obsolete among Betsileo-/Me­rina-/Hova-population]

Ethio­pia, Eritrea: manarve [= mouth-lamellae – a vernacular name but obsolete now; a relict in the Barya-lang­u­age] namarue [no special geographical reference on this name, but it is very similar to the obsolete name from Eritrean Barya-language]

South Africa: seku beku, setjoli [both are present among Sotho-population]; isitolotplo; isi tholotholo, isi thwelethwele [both are present among Xhosa and Zulu-popu­la­tions]; in Afrikaans: trompie





This paragraph is for the one who has noticed that there are more names for the Jew’s harp, but not mentioned in this booklet. When you are that person, we invite you to send us those names [with - as much if possible - information about the place, the people, languages, islands, nations, reference, year et cetera]. Please write to the e-mail address:


 to: (voorheen stichting) / (formerly foundation) Antropodium (publisher) -  
Lijsterbeslaan 19 - 4334 BM - Middelburg - The Netherlands




Most important references in Literature


1.  Vertkov, Konstantin et alii 1975. The Jew’s harp in the Soviet Union [translation: Leonard Fox]. In: Atlas Muzu­kal’nykh Instrumentov  Narodov SSSR [2nd, revised and enlarged edition]. Moscow. [In: VIM 3, 1987, p. 39-59];

2.  Crane, Frederick 1982. Jew’s [Jaw’s? Jeu? Jeugd? Gewgaw? Juice?] Harp. In: VIM 1. Iowa City [USA]. p. 29-41; VIM 9. Mt. Pleasant. P. 3

3.  Boone, Hubert 1986. De Mondtrom. De Volksmuziekinstru­menten in België en Nederland. Brussel. p. 9-11, 51;

4.  Plate, Regina 1992. Bezeichnungen für die Maultrom­mel. In: Kultur­geschichte der Maul­trommel. Bonn. Orpheus-Schriftenrei­he, Band 64, p. 119-158, 231-235;

5. Chenoweth, Vida 1976. Musical Instru­ments of Papua New Guinea. Ukarumpa. p. 14-20;

6. Marcuse, Sibyl 1964. Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary. Garden City. p. 264-265, s.v. Jew’s harp

7. Wright, John/McLean, Mervyn 1984. The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. London. Vol. II, p. 326-328, s.v.: Jew’s harp.

8. Dournon-Taurelle, Geneviève/Wright, John 1978. Les Guimbardes du Musée de l’Homme [Catalogue]. Institut d’Ethnologie. Paris. Passim p.

9. Ypey, Jaap 1976. Mondharpen. Amersfoort. uitg.: Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundige Bodemonderzoek [R.O.B.] -  p. 209-231, in: Antiek, nr. 11 [1976/1977] - UFSIA: MAG – T 277:87

10. V.I.M.-Volumes, editor Frederick Crane – for overview click here: http://www.antropodium.nl/allVIMs.htm#oversightvim

11. Bachmann-Geiser, Brigitte 1981. Die Volksmusikinstrumente der Schweiz. Zürich. p. 38-40