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Attractions of Yakutia: Khomus Museum of peoples of the world

khomus vargan

Khomus Museum (trump) - the world's first specialized museum. This is a wonderful realm of the ancient music, born in the Stone Age and lived into the present day, thanks to its enchanting sonority and democratic character of the smallest musical instrument in the world - khomus (trump).

International Center of khomus (trump) music and Khomus Museum were founded November 30, 1990. The founder of the museum is Ivan Alekseev - Doctor of Philology, Professor of Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, known khomusist improviser and a tireless promoter of khomus music with a worldwide reputation, whose collection of khomuses served as the basis of the museum fund.

More than 200 nations around the world have this musical instrument. To date, the museum's collection contains 1613 khomuses (vargan, trump, maultrommel, jew’s harp, bamboro etc.) from 52 countries: Thailand, the Philippines, India, Tuva, Mongolia, Scotland, Austria and other countries. The museum displays instruments made by Yakut masters, and, for example, the collection of American Professor Frederick Crane. Together with khomuses the exhibition includes photographs, records, books, magazines, newspaper articles, advertisements and other units dedicated to the jew's harp music.


Rich collection stored in the museum, is presented in four halls.

The exposition of the first hall introduces khomus manufacturing stages, the traditional technology of steel smelting, genealogy of Yakut blacksmiths, khomuses of known craftsmen and manufacturers.

The second room contains khomuses of the world, varied and surprising in its form and sound. Here are khomuses of bamboo, wood, bone, iron, combined khomuses. Every nation has a harp with its own unique name: English, American – jew’s harp, German and Austrian – maultrommel, French – gimbard, Norwegian – munnharp, Chinese – kuchin, Russian - vargan, Japanese – koukin, Kazakh – shankobyz, African - bamboro, etc. Each musical instrument is a valuable artifact that represents the diversity of cultures around the world.

The third exposition hall is a collection of Frederick Crane, presented in December 2009. At V International Congress of jew's harp music in Amsterdam, he announced that "donates his collection to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), which provides a national approach to this instrument." He began collecting in 1961. The oldest trumps in his collection belong to XIV century.

The exposition in the fourth hall tells about breaking Guinness world record. In 2011, during VII International Congress-Festival of khomus (jew's harp) music, "Khomus (trump) in the cultural space of the world," in Yakutsk was set Guinness world record. 1344 people participated in the attempt and set Guinness world record simultaneously playing khomus.

Andrei Shilov

Museum’s website -