This is a great piece of ethnic art and culture. The Sgra-Snyan or Tungna Dranyen has a good sound and plays well, although I am not a musician, so I couldn’t tune it. It is primarily an ornamental collectable and we can’t guarantee how well it plays. We do however, have a former buyers of a similar instrument who actually played it on a CD that he recorded.The Sgra-snyan is a wooden,long-necked lute often found with a horse or dragon head terminal. It is unfretted and usually has six strings tuned in double courses, however some forms may have three or even five strings. It is played with a plectrum and is common in secular art music. It is sometimes referred to as Snyan-sgra. This wood six-stringed instrument is a plucked instrument. Its shape, especially the painting technique on the dragonhead, shows that it was introduced into Tubo (ancient name for Tibet) in the Tang Dynasty. This six-stringed instrument with a long body sounds resonant. You can find the Sgra-snyan instruments played by angels depicted in seventh-century Buddhist cave paintings. The style is also depicted among many other Dieties such as the Hindu Gandharva. Despite the appearance of Buddha and his musicians, the Sgra-snyan was not used in religious settings, but accompanied secular song.I have frequented Kathmandu for about 20 years, as a student of Buddhism and a practitioner of Meditation. My Dharma work has centered around importing of Tibetan Cultural items. I originally found the Tibetan Sgra-Snyan Dragon String Instrument in an antique store near Durbar (Palace) Square in Kathmandu from a wonderful collector named Prakash. Over the years, I have had Prakash collect these instruments and send them to me once a year. They are not always available, but whenever they are we import them.
Now here’s the size. It measures 32 inch top to bottom, 8 inch wide and about 4 inch deep at the bottom. On top is a really outstanding dragon carving. There are also ornate interesting carving throughout the body of the instrument. On the bottom back are the eight auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. Great original for the musician or collector. Condition is good, but has a few small dings here and there, plus wear on the patina. See pictures. Enjoy!