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Kulintang ensemble

Group: Maranao

The complete ensemble

Two gongs on the stand

The head representing the mythical bird Sarimanok
Photographs copyright: F. de Jager


Idiophones: gong chime and large gong
Membranophones: conical drum and cylindrical drum

Local names

Set of eight gongs: Kulintang
Large gong: Agung
Cylindrical drum: Gandang
Conical drum: Dadabuan


Set of eight gongs made of bronze, on a wooden stand in the shape of a Sarimanok (mythical bird, divine messenger). Accompanied by one larger gong (here made of iron, but usually also made of bronze) and two drums. The eight small gongs differ in pitch but the height of the tone is not fixed and can differ per set. The number of large gongs can vary from one to several gongs of different pitch and size. The small gongs are struck with two sticks of appr. 30 cm. length and made of a soft kind of wood, probably of the papaya tree. The large gong is struck with a special beater. The conical drum is struck with a thin piece of bamboo of appr. 40 c.m. length. The cylindrical drum is struck with either the hands or two short wooden sticks.

To indicate the dimensions of the whole set, the length of the Sarimanok-shaped stand is 2,60 mtr, from head to tail. For other dimensions, see the pages of the other instruments of the ensemble (see above).


The drums, the stand and the frame are all quite roughly made but elaborately decorated with colourfully painted wood carvings, called 'okiran'.

The stand for the large gong is a copy based on photographs of a stand used by a Maranaw cultural group. The stand was made for the exhibiton 'Ugnayan, music in the Philippines', in 1977 in the The Hague Municipal Museum and in 1978 in the Rotterdam Ethnographic Museum.

Ethnic group: Maranao
Location: Central-west Mindanao (muslim south)

More or less similar ensembles are played by:
- Maguindanao,
Central-west Mindanao (muslim south)
- Taosug,
Sulu Archipelago (muslim south)
- Samal,
Sulu Archipelago (muslim south)
- Bajao,
Sulu Archipelago (muslim south)
- T'boli, SE Mindanao; k'lintang

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