Sitar - 973.159_1_2019



Medium:Teak wood or tun wood (Cedrela toona, a variation of mahogany), ivory or deer horn, calabash gourd
Geography: India
Period: mid-20th century
Lt. 123.3 cm
Object number: 973.159
Not on view

This stringed instrument is a sitar - a classical instrument that originates from the Indian subcontinent. The sitar is Hornbostel-Sachs classification with a necked bowl lute. Large yellow gourd body. It has a slightly convex sound-table and neck of dark wood. Concave fingerboard. Wood on the back of the neck comes down over groud in 7 floral lappets. 19 metal frets secured by gut strings passing under fingerboard. 7 metal strings from base of body to 2 pegs on fingerboard surface, and 5 pegs on side of neck. 11 sympathetic metal strings from base of the body to the pegs along the side of the neck. Lightly carved and stained ivory decorative insets on sound table and along edges of fingerboard.

It is featured in a photograph in The Family Camera Network public archive at the ROM, which shows Mrs. Sheela Biman playing the sitar at the Indian Australia Association in Melbourne (2018.88.1).

Mrs. Sheela Biman and her husband, Mr. Biman Bihari, moved from India to Australia in the 1960s. During this time, Mr. Bihari was doing postgraduate work in Mining Engineering and Mrs. Biman was doing postgraduate work in Social Work at the University of Melbourne. While in Australia, they welcomed their first child – their daughter, Birubi. After living there for four years, the family moved to the small Canadian mining town of Chibougamau, Québec, where their son, Aapool, was born. Mrs. Biman donated this instrument to the ROM in 1972, after she and her family immigrated to Canada.

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.