The andelu (a.k.a. andellu) is a ubiquitous component of the folk music / storytelling art known as "Burra Katha". For this, the main story teller usually plays a burakatha vina in the right hand, while the left hand plays the andelu.
There are several techniques for playing the andelu. One method has a ring of the andellu slipped over the thumb of the left hand, while the other ring is on one or more of the other fingers. They are then struck together to provide rhythmic accompaniment. Another common technique is to slip both rings of the andellu over the thumb of the left hand and strike them with the fingers.
The construction of the andelu is quite simple. It is a pair of toroids of brass that are about one-and-half to 2 inches in diameter. It is hollow, yet split around the rim. Inside the hollowed out portion are a number of metal balls that rattle and ring to give a "jingle bell" like sound.
Within the folk economies, the andelu are often used with the bullock carts to provide a hypnotic "ching, ching, ching", sound to keep the bullocks pacified, and less susceptible to being spooked by outside noises.
© 1998 - 2018 David and Chandrakantha Courtney
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