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111.142 Cymbals

Bhortal. Pair of large cymbals. Made of brass. Made in Sarthe Bari, Kamrup, Assam.

Bhortāl, pair of brass cymbals. The underside of each cymbal is painted in white with a lobed design resembling multiple petals. Each cymbal has a hole at the apex of the dome for multiple strands of silk, forming a carrying strap. Made in Sarthe Bari, Kamrup.

The bhortal are played in performances of ritual music in monasteries dedicated to the god Vishnu, featuring in hiranam (devotional singing). The cymbals are held horizontally. The right hand cymbal is clashed down against the left, which is rotated to create the required sound. A counter rhythm is clapped by the Bhakats, monks who devote their lives to the god Vishnu.

When played in the satras, the Vaishnava monasteries of Assam, one cymbal is held in each hand using the jute string. The cymbals are held horizontally. The right cymbal is clashed down on the left, which is moved in a circular way to create the required sound. They are used in performances of ritual music in the namghar, the prayer hall of the monastery, notably in hiranam (devotional singing), whilst a counter rhythm is clapped by the Bhakats, monks who devote their lives to the god Vishnu.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.
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