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Title: Nyatiti  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of string instruments, Sesube, Blown idiophone, Friction idiophone, Lyres
Collection: Kenyan Musical Instruments, Lyres
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The nyatiti is a five to eight-stringed plucked lyre from Kenya. It is a classical instrument played by the Luo people of Western Kenya, typically in Benga music. It is about two to three feet long. The player holds it to his chest while seated on a low stool. Usually it is played together with the oporo, a curved horn.

The Nyatiti played by the Luos is mostly 8-stringed. The stool that the player usually sits on is traditionally known as "Orindi". Orindi is a three-legged stool as low as to the shin level of the player. The player sits down and puts down the instrument in front of him. On the toe of the player is a round-iron ring (nut-like) that produces the constant beat as he/she hits the lower bar of the instrument with it. On the same leg is "Gara", a bell that shakes all throughout the playing period. Most players wear a headgear called "Kondo" on the head mostly made from some animal skin. The dancers tie 'Owalo' on their waist as they dance to the beautiful tune of nyatiti.

Notable nyatiti players

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