Wednesday, January 3, 7100

Chopi to Mozambique (c. AD 100) - Xylophones

Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.

Between the first and fourth centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The Bantu were farmers and ironworkers.

The Chopi are an ethnic group of Mozambique. They have traditionally lived primarily in the Zavala region of southern Mozambique, in the Inhambane Province, a life of subsistence agriculture, a rural existence.

The Chopi speak Chichopi, a tonal language in the Bantu family.

The Chopi identify culturally, as a people, with the elephant.

Mozambique - Chopi - Hingayengisa Masingisa (Xylophones)

They are famous for their traditional music, the best known of their instruments being the mbila (plural: timbila), a xylophone played in large groups. This music was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.

Other instruments used by the Chopi include panpipes, whistles, animal horns, rattles, drums of various sizes, musical bows, and a globular flute with three holes made from the dried shell of the nkuso fruit (bush orange).

The Chopi's traditional foods include cassava (manioc) and cashew nuts. They also produce a number of traditional alcoholic beverages, which are produced from fermented tangerines or cashews.

The xylophone (from the Greek words xylon, "wood" + phone, "voice," meaning "wooden sound") is a musical instrument in the percussion family which probably originated in Indonesia.

It consists of wooden bars of various lengths that are struck by plastic, wooden, or rubber mallets. Each bar is tuned to a specific pitch of the musical scale. Xylophone can refer to western style concert xylophones or to one of the many wooden mallet percussion instruments found around the world. Xylophones are tuned to different scale systems depending on their origin, including pentatonic, heptatonic, diatonic, or chromatic. The arrangement of the bars is generally from low (longer bars) to high (shorter bars).

The earliest extant xylophone is from the 9th Century in southeast Asia, however, a model of a hanging wood variant exists, dated to c. 2000 BC in China.

[7100 Mesomenes of Crete / 7100 Mozambique]