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Percussion musical instrument - Daira
Daira is an ancient Georgian percussion instrument that represents a wooden arch (1) with stretched leather (2). Within the hoop there are hanged clanging things – slim and round small plates and bells (3). The ratio of height of the arch and the diameter of the sounding surface is 1/5. The hoop is encrusted by white and black bone. In many cases Rich families and good players decorated some Dairas with different kinds of ornaments.

In Tusheti there has been used sheep’s skin for Daira and on the hoop have been hanged moneys, but in Kakheti there has been hanged sheep’s belly.

It seems that Daira was a very popular instrument that is reflected in the poem (of XII A.D.) “Amirandarejaniani” and Shota Rustaveli’s immortal poem “Knight in the Panther’s Skin”. This kind of instrument is rarely found in mountain regions as mountain inhabitants used clapping instead of it.

Daira was widely used at weddings, holidays and in merriments. It is widely spread in the regions of East Georgia, Tusheti, Samegrelo and Racha. There is no great difference between the types of Daira in different regions. While playing Daira is kept with both hands. The hoop is reclined on the thumb fingers and other fingers lay on the membrane and with these fingers sound is produced. The left hand’s fingers mostly are motionless and Daira is played by right hand’s fingers. When playing, they hit the center of sonorous surface or on the arch by four fingers or by a hand and shaking it, jingle sounds fill the melody.

Percussion musical instrument - Daira (with jingles)
The function of the instrument is to accompany dances and to emphasize rhythm. Generally Daira is played by women during dancing. More than one Daira is not used during performance. Daira was often accompanied with multipipe wind instrument Soinari in the region of Samegrelo. In the region of Kakheti, it was accompanied with Panduri and Duduki. In Racha Daira is played during the play “Tskhenkatsoba”: two or three boys are playing, one of them bestrides and all of them are walking in the village and playing Daira.



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