The inzebe is a rattle consisting of a 20 cm long branch to which is attached a dried, hollowed-out fruit pod of the umunyege bush, filled with a few seeds of the uburengo or with small pebbles (utubuye). The walls are often decorated with simple motifs (- ,+, 0). Sometimes the soundbox is replaced with a shoe polish tin filled with pebbles or even with a few amayugi.
The inzebe is used with the umuduri musical bow; the player holds the inzebe in his right hand and strikes the gourd resonator of the umuduri with the underside of the handle.
Outside Rwanda the Nyambo, the Kiga, the Konjo, the Ganda and the Soga (Uganda) use the same playing technique, which is restricted to the Interlacustrine region. This type of rattle is found throughout Central Africa and can combine a rhythmical, magical and ritual function.
For more information consult the following publications edited by the RMCA:
© KMMA/Jos GANSEMANS