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Goje / Goge / Gonjey / Njarka / N´Ko / Imzad

21. 1. 2008




Goge - West Africa one string fiddle

The goge is West African one string stick fiddle found in a variety of shapes and sizes, and known by a number of names. The most common form is known as goge by the Hausa and Yoruba in Nigeria and the Songhay, Djerma, Mauri, and Hausa in Niger. In Ghana the Mamprusi-Dagomba call it a gonje and in Benin it can be reffered to as a godie. Typically goge are made from a lizard skin covered half gourd, pierced by a thin neck and a horsehair string that passes over a small bridge placed close to the edge of the gourd. Bowed with a small horsehair bow, the goge has a very distinctive sound that makes use of a multiphonic voice. Played by both men and women with great virtuosity, the goge is used in small ensembles and to accompany singing..

Country: Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Benin
Region: Africa
Type: bowed strings
Collection: Randy Raine-Reusch
Groups: Randy Raine-Reusch
©  R. Raine-Reusch, Jan. 1999



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The Goje, is one of the many names for a variety of one or two-stringed fiddles from West Africa, almost exclusively played by ethnic groups inhabiting the Sahel and Sudan sparsely vegetated grassland belts leading to the Sahara. Snakeskin covers a gourd bowl, and a horsehair string is suspended on bridge. A Goje is played with a bowstring.

The Goje is commonly used to accompany song, and is usually played as a solo instrument, although it also features prominent in ensembles with other West African string, wind or percussion instruments, including the Shekere or Ney.

The various names by which the Goje are known by include: Goge (Hausa/Zarma), Gonjey (Dagomba, Gurunsi), Njarka (Songhay), N'Ko (Bambara, Mandinka and other Mande languages), Imzad (Tuareg).



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