UhadiuHadi is a traditional Xhosa unbraced musical bow instrument. The wooden bow is strung with gut or wire and attached to iSelwa (calabash) which resonates and amplifies the sound. The bow is played with uMqungu (a beater) made from a “thin stalk of grass often plucked from the roof-thatch which is beaten against the string” (Dargie, 1986).


Uhadi playing position is like that of the Zulu Ugubhu, the bow stave is held in the right hand (or left if the player is left-handed), near the lower end of the stave, so that the opening in the gourd resonator faces the player’s breast” (Mandela, 2005).

Variations in pitch are produced by pinching the string, and variations in tone are made by shifting the gourd’s position on the chest.


Dargie, D., 1986. Musical Bows in Southern Africa. Africa Insight, Vol 16 no 1, 1 – 11.

Mandela, T., 2005. The Revival and Revitalization of Musical Bow practice in South Africa. Degree of Masters. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.