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Instruments Made from Plants

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. . In many cities these evenings, people go outside  at seven and make noises to communicate their appreciation for front line workers in the covid 19 pandemic. My daughter and her boyfriend in Los Angeles have been participating. Casey, a trained saxophone player, has alternated between blowing two flutes at one time (a common ancient practice) and a digeridoo. Eliza Frezil shakes a tambourine. All three instruments have ancient origins – the digeridoo most probably eucalyptus trunks hollowed out by termites. The flutes from plant stems and bamboo, and the tambourine originally a dried gourd whose seeds made the shaking sound. Gourds are the source of more nature-based musical or sound-making implements than any other natural object. Lagenaria sicenaria, the ancient bottle gourd, still grown today, probably originated in Africa but 10,000 years ago was already in the New World and Asia.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.