Segankura 1 ‘This instrument normally consists of a stoutish stick perhaps six centimetres in diameter, hollowed out like a trough along most of its length, with a wire string attached. It is fitted with a tuning peg at one end and a tin can resonator at the other and it is played with a very short bow fitted with hair from a cow’s tail.’(Brearley: 1989).

‘The bow is held in the right hand, usually with the thumb on the hair or on the strip of hide, if fitted. Although the hair is slack, the player can tighten it whilst playing by applying pressure with his thumb.

‘The bow is moved in a circular fashion passing up and down the string as well as across it, touching the various nodes at which harmonics occur. The hair is held tight when touching these points, enabling the desired sounds to be heard clearly. Sometimes players will include some fundamental notes among the harmonics that make up their melodies, but mostly harmonics alone will be heard’ (Brearley: 1996).


Brearley, J., 1989. Music and Musicians of the Kalahari.Botswana Notes and Records, 20, pp.77-90.

Brearley, J., 1996. The Segankuru–a” Bush Fiddle” or a Bowed Bow?: Some of its Exponents and their Songs. Botswana notes and records, 28, pp.121-144.