Bobbilli Veena

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Overview:

Despite the longstanding fame of the Bobbili veena, the livelihoods of craftsmen face challenges due to a lack of demand from the public and required patronage from the government.

About Bobbilli Veena

  • The traditional ‘Saraswati Veena’ from Bobbili is famed for its fine tune and distinctive notes.
  • It is a large plucked string instrument used in Carnatic music.
  • The making of the veena began in the 17th century during the reign of Pedda Rayudu, the king of Bobbili Samsthanam who was a great patron of music.
  • Features
    • These veenas are painstakingly crafted from Jack-wood tree logs in Gollapalli, a town in Bobbili (AndhraPradesh).
    • It takes almost a full month for a log of mute wood to be crafted into a fine musical instrument.
    • Jack-wood is preferred as it is light and the unique grain of the wood renders the quality of swara or tone.
    • A single piece of wood is used to create the instrument giving it the name ‘Ekandi Veena’.
    • These Veenas are also remarkable for the exquisite designs etched on the body, making each piece exclusive.
    • With their origin dating back to the Seventeenth Century, these veenas are played in a distinctive style, which also led to the coinage of the ‘Bobbili Veena Sampradayam’.
  • It earned a Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2012 for its unique design and high-quality craftsmanship.

Q1) What is Carnatic Music?

Carnatic Music is a form of Indian classical music with origins in Southern India. Lyrics in Carnatic music are largely devotional; most of the songs are addressed to the Hindu deities.

Source: Strung out: Bobbilli Veena craftsmen struggle for livelihood