Images from The Beede
Peacock-shaped Mayuri from India
NMM 2903. Long-necked lute (mayuri), India, 19th century. A peacock-shaped, bowed instrument that was popular in the Indian courts of the 19th century. Moveable, arched metal frets and parchment belly. Wood body carved and decorated to represent a peacock, including an actual peacock bill and feathers. The mayuri, or peacock, is a symbol of India; it is associated with Saraswati, the goddess of music; and, is also a symbol of courtship. Sixteen frets, four melody strings, and fifteen sympathetic strings. The mayuri is tuned and played like the esraj from which it is derived. Ex coll.: Clifford A. Allanson, Delmar, New York. Purchase funds gift of Lydia and Edwin Downie, Hamilton, New York, 1981.
Front, Top, and Bottom Views
Click on images below to see larger views
Details of the Peacock Head, Hitch Pins, and Body
Restoration of Peacock-shaped Mayuri Head
Restoration of the hand-painted peacock
many hours of
tedious inpainting in the NMM's Conservation Laboratory to return the
instrument to its former splendor.
Details of the Pegbox, Nut, Frets, and Decoration on Neck
Literature: Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, The Shrine to Music Museum Catalog of the Collections, Vol. II, André P. Larson, editor (Vermillion: The Shrine to Music Museum, 1982), p. 12.
Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, M.M. Thesis, University of South Dakota, May 1983, p. 26, plate IX.
"Behind the Scenes . . . The Art of the Conservator," Shrine to Music Museum, Inc. Newsletter 9, No. 4 (July 1982), pp. 1, 3-4.
André P. Larson, The National Music Museum: A Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: National Music Museum, 1988), pp. 9 and 29.
Ido Abravaya, Music at First Sight II: Musical Instruments (Ramat-Aviv, Israel: The Open University of Israel, 2006), front cover.
Ted Muenster, "South Dakota's Shrine to Music," Prairie Fire 3, No. 4 (April 2009): 14.
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A postcard of the Mayuri is available from the Gift Shop
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069