Māhatī Vīṇa

Indian (North)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

Variations of this stringed rudra vina with its two gourds are routinely depicted in ragamala paintings attesting to the popularity of the vina family of instruments. As seen in the paintings in this exhibition, musicians hold a rudra vina at an angle with one of the stabilizing gourds positioned above the left shoulder. Rudra vinas are closely associated with the dhrupad genre of North Indian classical music popular from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Tansen, the legendary sixteenth-century musician in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, was a widely revered vina player. His influence on North Indian classical music cannot be overstated, and countless musicians today trace their musical lineage to him.

Māhatī Vīṇa, Gourd, various materials, Indian (North)

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