gorah, noun

Forms:
ghoera, gohaShow more Also ghoera, goha, gohar, goorah, gora, gôrah, goráh, gorra, gorrah, goura, !goura, gowra, gura, gurah, korà, t’goerra.
Origin:
KhoikhoiShow more Probably Khoikhoi Xkora, Xgora, or qgora.
Music
A bow-like musical instrument having a flattened piece of quill or reed interposed between one end of the string (or strings) and its attachment to the bow, the player’s blowing upon the quill or reed causing vibrations in the strings; gom-gom sense a. Cf. ramkie.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 229The instrument is played on in the following manner: the musician, applying his mouth to the quill, draws in his breath very hard, so as to put it into a quivering motion, which produces a grating sound. This instrument is called a t’Goerra, a name..tolerably expressive of the sound of the instrument.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 104The goura is shaped like the bow of a savage Hottentot...When several gouras play together, they are never in unison.
1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 78A kind of instrument called Korà. It resembled at first sight a fiddlestick, and was made of a wooden stick, over which was extended a string. At the end of this was fastened the tip of a quill, and upon this they played with their lips; blowing as if it were a wind instrument, so as to make it produce a jarring sound.
1801 J. Barrow Trav. I. 149This instrument was called the gowra.
1804 R. Percival Acct of Cape of G.H. 91A goura..is formed by strings of dried gut, or sinews of deer, twisted into a cord and fastened to a hollow stick, about three feet in length, by a peg which on being turned round brings the cord to a proper degree of tension. At the other end the cord is placed on quills: played on by applying the mouth to the quills..produce a faint noise like an aeolian harp.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 458The Goráh..may be more aptly compared to the bow of a violin, than to any other thing; but, in its principle and use, it is quite different; being, in fact, that of a stringed, and a wind instrument combined: and thus it agrees with the Æolian harp.
1834 T. Pringle Afr. Sketches 17Soothed by the gorrah’s humming reed.
1835 J.W.D. Moodie Ten Yrs in S. Afr. I. 224I have often listened with great pleasure to the wild and melancholy notes of the ‘gorah’ and ‘ramkee’.
1834 W.H.B. Webster Narr. of Voy. to Sn Atlantic Ocean 274The whole of the slaves were assembled in the hall,..accompanied by their musician, who soon seated himself on the earthen floor and commenced tuning his gorah. The gorah is an instrument well known in Africa.
1846 R. Moffat Missionary Labours 15His gorah soothes some solitary hours, although its sounds are often responded to by the lion’s roar or the hyena’s howl.
1881 Noble in Encycl. Brit. XII. 311The ‘gorah’ was formed by stretching a piece of the twisted entrails of a sheep along a thin hollow stick...At one end there was a piece of quill fixed into the stick, to which the mouth was applied.
1902 H. Balfour in Jrnl of Anthropol. Inst. Vol.32, 156The goura, a stringed-wind musical instrument of the Bushmen and Hottentots.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 333I have seen the instrument used in Pondoland; but the music was very rude, and it required an immense amount of energy to bring it forth at all. The Bushmen called it a Gorah, but the Pondos an Ugwali.
1934 P.R. Kirby Musical Instruments of Native Races (1965) 178That the goráh was a Hottentot instrument, though played by a Bushman, has been regularly neglected by those who have referred to Burchell’s description.
1934 P.R. Kirby Musical Instruments of Native Races (1965) 186As the gora was first noticed in 1668, it would seem that its invention took place at some time between 1598 and that date. In its earliest form, the gora was simply a slender reproduction of the curved shooting bow.
1955 V. De Kock Fun They Had 35We every night heard some old Hottentot in the servant’s hut near the house playing on the gorah, the sound of which resembled the distant notes of the bugle.
1989 F.G. Butler Tales from Old Karoo 111He filled his time by composing strange pieces, using local instruments like kudu horns, gorahs and heaven knows what.
1993 A.P. Brink First Life of Adamastor 105In a large circle the men sat..tugging at the string of the gurah, while the women clapped their hands and danced around us.
A bow-like musical instrument having a flattened piece of quill or reed interposed between one end of the string (or strings) and its attachment to the bow, the player’s blowing upon the quill or reed causing vibrations in the strings; gom-goma.

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