Nyatiti meaning queen of the clan.
Traditionally built from Fig and oak tree, this lyre musical instrument is home to the western part of Kenya and It is traditionally played by the Luo people, an ethnic group now situated in Western Kenya, Eastern Uganda and Northern Tanzania (around Lake Victoria).
They were originally from the Nile River Valley and migrated down the River Nile to the Lake Victoria region after the Nubian peoples. In Egypt (particularly around the valley) you can find many instruments that date back over 5000 years, many, like the nyatiti, are also found in Egyptian hieroglyphs
Historically, strings were fashioned from cattle tendons, but modern players almost exclusively use nylon and plastic fishing line of various sizes, a move which changed the sound of the nyatiti drastically.
It is believed that because the instrument is from western Kenya, near Lake Victoria, the instrument was fashioned with fishing lines. Fishing is a dominant source of food and income around lake Victoria.
The resonator is made to resemble huts from western Kenya.
Here at Elleca, we are on a mission to explore traditional African instruments and make Jewelery inspired from the different forms and shapes.
Our turquoise Nyatiti earrings is made from Sterling silver bars
Style: As music is mainly functional for the Luo, traditionally a nyatiti player is called upon to play at weddings or funerals, as it can be played as a solo instrument. The instrument is often performed with a dance, called ‘Goyo Otenga’. Otenga is the Luo word for eagle, and so dancers move their shoulders, arms, fingers, legs and feet like an Eagle.
5.6 cm of nyaniti
7 cm total heigh
Width 2.8 cm