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Chuniri is kept in a warm place. Often, especially in rainy days it was warmed near fireplace before playing, in order to emit more harmonious sounds. That is done in order to protect the leather and wood from the adverse affects of humidity and cold drafts. In Svaneti and Racha people even could make a weather forecast according to the sound produced by Chuniri. Weak and unclear sounds were the signs of a rainy weather. Given the effects of humidity on wood and leather, it is easy to imagine a weather-related change in relative pitch. This fact is well-known in all regions where the fiddlestick instruments were spread.

Traditional people believed that the chuniri had magical powers. For example, in Svaneti when a person was lost in an avalanche, the search party took along a chuniri and a rooster. They played the chuniri while searching and when the rooster crowed, they would start digging out the snow there and then.

One of the most common and important was the commemoration of the dead. It was a tradition to play Chuniri late at night on the eve of a funeral, one of the relatives (man) of the dead person would sit down in open air beside a bonfire and play a sad, low-pitched melody. In his song (sang in a low voice) he would remember the life of the dead person and the other dead ancestors of the family. Most songs performed on this instrument are connected with sad occasions, giving rise to the expression in Svaneti, “Chianuri is for sorrow.” However, it is often played at weddings, too.

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