Object Name - Mi-gyaung
Date - late 19th-century
Geography - Myanmar (formerly Burma)
DimensionsL. 54 in.
ClassificationChordophone-ZitherCredit LineThe Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889Accession Number89.4.1473Current Location - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newyork
In the 9th century several Burmese musicians were sent to the T'ang dynasty court. Among the instruments they presented to the emperor were the saung-gauk (harp), klene (mouth organ) and mi-gyaung, all chamber instruments. Mi-gyaung, means " crocodile-zither" in Burmese. Similar box zithers exist throughout Southeast Asia and, although the shape is not maintained, the reptilian name persists as chakhe in Thailand or kacapi in Indonesia and the Philippines.