The South Indian veena, sometimes called Saraswati veena after the Hindu goddess of learning and music, Saraswati, is one of the most widely used stringed instruments in the Carnatic classical music tradition. It is thought to have evolved into its current form approximately 400 years ago. This veena was played by Y.G. Srimati, who toured the U.S. in the 1960s. She was a true polymath; her paintings are also held in the Met Museum’s Asian Art Department.