Jew’s Harp (Ncas)

Sample of “Ncas” Music

The Ncas is another instrument used in Hmong music known also as the Jaw’s (Jew’s) Harp. The Ncas is a six inch, thin strip of wood or brass with a blade cut out from it. It is the most poetic of all the Hmong instruments. The Ncas is played by vibrating next to the mouth while blowing air through the blade. This is another commonly used instrument in Hmong courting practices. Its soft, whisper-like sound encourages a sort of secrecy between young Hmong boys and girls in love. The Ncas is a dying tradition in courting practices of Hmong people just like the raj.

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