The Sape’ (also known as Sambe’ or Sampe’), is a long lute-like stringed instrument made from a single bole of wood, originating from the communities of Central Borneo. In Kenyah and Kayan culture, it was originally a two-stringed instrument which was used for healing rituals and celebrations. It is made by hollowing out an expertly handpicked and dried out bole of wood. The original wood of choice was the “adau”.
These days, the Sape’ extends to three or four strings, different types of wood are used and elaborate motifs are added to the face. It is also celebrated by many for its enchanting sounds, coupled by melodic Kenyah folksongs played on the instrument such as the “Liling”.
This piece is handcrafted by 74-year old, Lian Balan, a Kenyah man from Long Moh (Baram, Sarawak – Malaysia).