Sasando — an instrument with many tales

Not as well-known as the angklung or the gamelan, the sasando is still a treasured piece of Rote culture. Native to Rote Island, Indonesia, the sasando (or sasandu, which translates to ‘vibrate’) is a traditional harp-like string instrument that is made of bamboo, wood, and dried lontar.

What truly stands out about the instrument, however, is its appearance.

The main frame of the sasando is a bamboo tube around which strings are stretched. The tube is then placed in a hammock-shaped container of woven palm leaves called haik. This container is what serves as the resonator for this instrument.

While the appearance of the sasando is unique and distinctive, its origin is rather muddled. There are many tales and folklore about how this instrument came to be.

One particular story1 follows a young man named Sanguanna, who was shipwrecked on an island called Ndana, and was brought to the palace to meet the King.

During his stay, Sanguanna fell in love with the princess of Ndana. When he asked for her hand in marriage, the princess requested for Sanguanna to create an instrument that she had never seen before.

One night, Sanguanna dreamed of playing a beautiful tune with a unique instrument. Inspired by the dream, he created the instrument out of bamboo and lontar leaves, and named it sasandu.

In another story2, the instrument was created by two shepherds, who accidentally discovered that plucking a string of yarn in a haik created a sound. They then discovered ways to produce sounds of different pitch through trial-and-error.

Even though these two origin stories are very different, they both share a common theme: the inventor possessed great creativity and resourcefulness in order to create the sasando.

Similarly, with a bit of resourcefulness, you can find the right mix of investments to meet all your investment needs. Learn more about the creative mix of investment solutions that can strike a chord with you.

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