Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A South Asian stringed instrument, it consists of a single string, a gourd resonator and a bamboo neck. Though there are regional variations of the instrument, the most common version consists of a bowl-shaped end made from the shell of bottle gourd, wood apple and coconut. This is attached to a bamboo neck, and the string is attached to a knob on the neck, known as kaan. It is played by plucking the string with the index finger of the hand it is held in. The instrument was most popularly used by travelling bards singing devotional and other songs and is a common instrument in Baul music of eastern India.