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Military signaling wind instrument - Buki
Buki is a kind of wind instrument that represents a long brass pipe. It originally comes from the north-west part of Georgia, the region of Svaneti. Inside the funnel-shaped part of pipe, up to first part it is inserted wooden stem, (trunk), and in the second part of pipe it is inserted copper trunk. Length of the instrument is 1270мм, diameter of a funnel 220мм, and diameter of a blowing place is 28мм.

It is thought to be battle instrument. Buki can be found in the poems – in everyday life of Georgia: ahead of the war and after the victory, during the struggle, coronation, feast, hunting and party. In the poem of great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli "The Knight in the panther's skin" it is clearly shown that during crowning the king it was accepted "to beat" (to play) on Buki. For example, when Rostevan has appointed Tinatin sovereign, we read "Here Buki began to sound and cymbals embellished their sounding", or "they struck Buki and crowned the Queen". From set of historical sources it is possible to allocate Iranian "Visramiani", in which is described how sounds of Buki pealed out when Ramin was going in military campaign.

Mostly, Buki was played in military campaigns. I.e. it was used in military operations and served as the signaling tool. During playing Buki the player raises it and greatly blows into it. On the power of blowing depends the sound of Buki. Because of that the player had to stand hills. Buki produces a very deafening sound and it was played for this reason. By this sound the soldiers were informing everybody about the beginnings of military actions, if the enemy came nearer or the armies had to prepare for approach. Already in XII century this tool belonged the group of military tools.

The first historian of Queen Tamari's period told, that when army have returned from Iran after victorious campaign to Georgia , the Queen met them solemnly: "Buki was making noise and cymbals were thundering". Certainly, and then they well understood, that a sound of Buki was very strong and deafening. But sound of Buki during a feast basically expressed a celebration. This circumstance is well shown in the poem of Shota Rustaveli: "Buki and Cymbals were played to increase the sound of ring".

In Georgia Buki as an instrument is saved in Svaneti, where it is known as "Sankeri". In Samegrelo it is named as "Oke" and was played during the big celebrations. In Samegrelo Buki was played on great holidays. For example, after celebrating mass when blessing water on a holiday of Easter, all people went to nearest river to take part in this liturgy. Ahead of all went a clergyman, standard-bearers which held a flag, and behind them went two "Mebuke" (a man playing on Buki) and they were followed by the people.

In Kartli Buki is known as Gorototo. The tradition of this instrument is confirmed in Abkhazia, where it is named as Abiki and there Buki existed until the second half of 19th century. There Buki has one addition function – the shepherds were damning thieves of the cattle. Since the beginning of 20th century Buki isn’t used anymore in Georgia.




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