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Ektara is a stringed instrument made of bamboo, parchment and steel. This traditional instrument is found in Maharashtra. Majorly a drone instrument, it is used by traditional folk singers in various parts of Maharashtra.

EKTARA in Maharashtra

Material: Bamboo, parchment, steel

A bamboo is inserted through the centre of the gourd, the upper side of the gourd sliced out and covered with skin. A single steel string. Plucked with finger or plectrum. Used by traditional folk singers in Maharashtra as a drone instrument.

EKTARA in West Bengal

Material: Bottle gourd, Wood apple, Coconut, Skin, Bamboo, Steel, Wood

The Ektara is an important symbol of the folk traditions of rural Bengal, which has been made popular by the Baul and Fakiri singers, who use it as their main musical accompaniment, to spread their message of love and universal brotherhood. The word Ektara is derived from two words, Ek meaning “one” and tara meaning “string”. It is thus a one-stringed musical instrument that can produce a wide variety of tunes and melodies. The body of the Ektara is made from the shell of bottle gourd, wood apple, coconut, etc. Ektaras made from wood apple shell or coconut shell are comparatively smaller in size compared to those made from bottle gourd shell. The bowl of the instrument is covered with skin and fixed to a prepared bamboo, approximately three feet long. The string, usually made of steel, is attached to the bottom of the bowl, and to a wooden knob at the other end, called the Kaan (ear). The Ektara is usually held in the right hand, and played with the right forefinger.