late 19th Century
Puerto Rico, United States
Overall: 17.6 x 8.6 x 72.2 cm (6 15/16 x 3 3/8 x 28 7/16 in.)
Gift of Mrs. E. W. Van der Poel, 1915
This rare guitar and a tiple in a private collection are the only known 19th-century Puerto Rican stringed instruments to survive. This jíbaro (country) guitar reflects the shape of the bordonúa and maintains similar construction. Unlike the bordonúa, small thorns attach the top to the hollowed body like tacks used on earlier Spanish models, and it has only five gut strings. Designs, reminiscent of African textiles, are carved and incised on the guitar's body.
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