Belembaotuyan: the “one-stringed belly echo”


The most distinctive indigenous Chamorro instrument is a one-stringed bow called a “belembaotuyan.” This cousin of the Brazilian berimbau appears at Chamorro weddings or other celebrations.  According to Guampedia’s introduction to the belembaotuyan, “the meaning of belembao in Chamorro means ‘swaying of the trees’ and tuyan means ‘stomach.’ Essentially, belembaotuyan means either a ‘one-stringed belly echo’ or ‘vibrations of the belly.'” We like both.

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