Q:

What is a kudiyapi?

A:

The kudiyapi, or kutiyapi, is a two-stringed fretted boat-lute typically used by different people in the Philippines to make music. It is an instrument most common among the Maguindanaon people.

The kudiyapi has two strings, a fretted neck and a boat-shaped body. There are three standard sizes, which are between 4 and 6 feet long. The kudiyapi is typically worn on a strap like a guitar. One hand plucks the strings while the other presses on the strings at the fret.

Kudiyapi are carved out of soft woods. The body is very large in comparison to the neck, and much of the neck is a continuation of the body. It has been suggested that the boat-like shape has its roots in the heavy use of boats among the Maguindanaon people. The Maranoa people add elegant carvings to their kudiyapi. Most often, these carvings resemble the naga, a mythical dragon.


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