The Bolon is a base type tunable Hunter's string instrument which consists of a large bowl-shaped calabash covered with goatskin, from which a bow-shaped wooden pole extends. This harp is the oldest string instrument among all the string instruments played in Guinea. It has three strings, each attached around the pole, and is played all over Guinea.
Two extra strings have recently been added on newer versions of Bolon, but the two extra strings are non traditional, and only an addition of some younger musicians.
The strings are tuned by moving the pole rings up or down.
This instrument was inspired and created with materials and behaviors used in the hunter's daily life in the Mandingue at the time of its creation. The skin covering the Bolon instrument is coming from an animal killed while hunting. Notice how the pole and string are looking like a bow. Other components are made out of natural sources that always existed in the hunter’s environment: calabash (Gourd)..etc
A resonator is often mounted at the top of the pole.
The Bolon is played positioned in between the legs, strings facing the player . The strings are plucked with the thumbs, combining the wrists also knocking the calabash.
It produces a deep bass sound.
The proposed 3 strings version is from Guinea (West Africa).
It was traditionally played in hunting ceremonies in songs extolling the hunters' bravery and before battle, to urge warriors on to great feats of courage and endurance.