Varganautica #1. About Vargan (Jew's Harp). Weird facts





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Uploaded on Oct 9, 2006

English translation.
You're watching Varganautica program with Olga Scotland.
Vargan (Russian jaw harp) - is no small scaly animal like varan (giant lizard living in sand deserts) or any other lizard. It is small elegant musical instrument.
When someone asks "what is vargan?", the most easy description will be "it is something that chuckchi people play on -- ljaou, ljaou, ljaou". By the name "chukchi" a typical man with Soviet past would mean almost all asian nations that lived at Soviet Asia territory -- from Bashkir people to real Chukchi people.
Indeed, Turki people (Asian nation that speak Turki group language ) really used vargan very much and this is no surprise. Here they call it "komuz", "khomus", "temir-komuz" or "kubhiz". But everyone knows that, so I'll stop only on amazing things.
In Europe vargans are very popular -- especially in Germany and Austria, where they call it "maultrommel". Sometimes the whole town is occupied by production of maultrommels, and in the town of Molln even a monument to maultrommel was erected.
In Russia vargan along with the gusli (ancient Russian string instrument) was found at archeological dig sites of Velikiy (Great) Novgorod city and is dated by 14 century. But considered, that the first "varganaut" in Russia was not a man, but a bear. Do you remember a Russian tale where grandpa planted turnip?... Well, while grandpa was working, lazy bear was sitting on a stub and making sounds from it... Aren't them something familiar to you?
But really weird types of vargan one can meet among insect Asia. In China they make many-petaled bugs and call it "kou-xiang", and in Vietnam -- elegant mantis "dan moi". Some say that tiny brass for dan moi is made by Vietnam craftsmen from bullet shells remained from the Vietnam War.
At the Oceania islands vargan is made from splitted bamboo stem. Not excepted that vargan appeared when cannibal was clearing his teath by picking out the remains of unawary sailor.
But this is another history. Now vargan became electronical. I wonder, what we can NOT meet in Amsterdam! You do not believe? Then listen!

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