Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

khaen (mouth organ)
  • Thailand
  • khaen (mouth organ), mid 1900s–1969
  • Where object was made: Nakhon Phanom, Changwat, Thailand
  • bamboo, wood, gum resin, plant fiber, staining, incising
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 90 x 13.5 x 5.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 35 3/8 x 5 5/16 x 2 1/8 in
  • Betty Austin Hensley Flutes of the World
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0609

This wind instrument consists of a windchest (carved wooden box with a small cone-like projection at one end and a hole at the other end) and two rows of eight bamboo tubes going through the windchest. The windchest is stained red, though one side has a large oval of the natural wood color, and there are incised bands near the mouthpiece. The bamboo tubes are graduated in length, bound together with wrapped plant fiber at the top, above the graduated ends, and the longest two lengths have another binding. They are held in place through the windchest with a resinous material. It has very small fingerholes, one in each bamboo tube, below the windchest.