Sape' is a traditional lute of many of the Orang Ulu or "upriver people", mainly the Kayan and Kenyah community who live in the longhouses that line the rivers of Central Borneo. The instrument is carved from a single bole of wood, with many modern instruments reaching over a meter in length.
Initially, the Sape' was a fairly limited instrument with two strings and only three frets. Its use was restricted to a form of ritualistic music to induce trance. In the last century, the Sape' gradually became a social instrument to accompany dances or as a form of entertainment. Today, three, four, or five-string instruments are used, with a range of more than three octaves.
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