Xuma!xuma is a carved wooden bow using the mouth as resonator, with the single hide or gut string divided unequally and held tense by a thong near, but not at, the mid-point, and played by rapid tapping with a twig or grass-stalk (Nurse, 1972).

The !xuma braced mouthbow is mainly found in different regions of Namibia like the Kavango and Okombahe and it has different names Kaworongongo and Noukhas. In South Africa similar bows is found amongst the Zulu people called Isiqomqomana and amongst the Xhosa it was called Ugwali which has since been extinct (Dargie, 1986).


Nurse, G.T., 1972. Musical instrumentation among the San (Bushmen) of the Central Kalahari. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, 5(2), pp.23-27.

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