Apache fiddle

The Apache fiddle (Apache: tsii' edo'a'tl, "wood that sings")[2] is a bowed string instrument used by the indigenous Apache people of the southwestern United States. The instrument consists of a plant stalk, such as that of the agave or mescal plant. One or sometimes two strings, often made of horse hair, are secured at both ends of the stalk, a bridge and nut added, and the string is played with a bow resined with pine pitch.[3] The string is touched with the fingers to change its note.

The Apache fiddle is believed to be based upon fiddles brought to North America by European settlers. The Smithsonian Institution holds an Apache fiddle collected in 1875.[4] In 1989 Apache fiddle maker Chesley Goseyun Wilson of Tucson, Arizona won a National Heritage Award.[5]

See also


  1. "Portrait of Chasi, Bonito's Son..." National Anthropological Archives. (retrieved 11 June 2010)
  2. Experimental Musical Instruments. Experimental Musical Instruments. 1995. p. 34.
  3. Jadrnak, Jackie (1 August 2014). "Man wants to reintroduce the Apache fiddle, which has few makers remaining". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  4. American Indian art magazine Published by American Indian Art, Inc., 1980. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Dec 19, 2007. Page 28.
  5. 1989 NEA National Heritage Fellow: Chesley Goseyun Wilson Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, National Endowment for the Arts (USA)


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