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Raj Nplaim Qab Ntev | Large Hmong Free-Reed Flute

Raj Nplaim Qab Ntev | Large Hmong Free-Reed Flute


Odds are, when you think of "HMong flute," the sound(s) you are thinking of come from the raj nplaim qab ntev. Traditionally, these were the largest size Hmong free-reed flutes came in—however, nowadays, there are even larger flutes. Raj nplaim qab ntev produce a low, mellow, and somber sound that is the iconic Hmong traditional music sound so often heard in films. They're often associated with talk about heartache, yearning, and sadness, but can also used to speak about love, romance, and courtship, such as with the raj nplaim qab luv. These are expertly crafted by Vahcha Lor (Vam Tshaj Lauj) in Luang Prabang, Laos. 


I work in close relation with artisans to ensure all instruments I provide produce the best possible quality sound. Because each and every one of these instruments are hand-made, they will each sound slightly different to the trained ear; the differences coming from both the artisans' individual works and the differences between every piece of bamboo and brass.


Tus tswv uas txua cov raj nplaim no hu ua Vam Tshaj xeem Lauj, nyob tom Luam Phab Npas, Teb Chaw Nplog. Txhua cov tswv uas kuv ua hauj lwm nrog, yeej yog cov uas txawj ntaus, los sis txawj hlais thiab txawj txua peb Hmoob teb mi raj thiab ncas, los mus rau qeej. Suab txawv ces yuav yog txawv ntawm xyoob ntawm ntoo los xwb.


    These raj nplaim measure between 36 inches (91.5 cm) and 42 inches (107 cm) long and approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter/thickness.

    The free–reed is made from hand-smithed brass, the body of the flute is made from dried and cured bamboo.


    If your package is lost/damaged during delivery, I will replace it free of charge. Upon arrival, please check to ensure everything is okay and notify me immediately if otherwise. If a package arrives damaged, I may require it sent back to me–and a refund/replacement will be issued when the item is returned—I will pay for return shipping. Bamboo and wood instruments are prone to cracking if you salivate into the instrument too much when playing, causing it to expand unevenly, if it is exposed to rapid changes in temperature/humidity in your home and care, etc. If you have played your instrument, I cannot honor a return due to small cracks that develop that do not affect the sound—again, due to the nature of wood and bamboo. However, if big splitting cracks happen, I will replace it free of charge. However, I cannot offer a return in any case after a month of you receiving the instrument—again due to the nature of instruments being in your care and exposed to any of the above mentioned conditions. Lastly, instruments can crack from consistent and strong vibration from the reed, thus, all raj, qeej, etc. will eventually crack with time—poor sounding instruments are actually likely to last longer because the reed produces weak vibrations and sounds. Wear and tear is the nature of bamboo and wood. It is not a question of "if," but "when" your raj/qeej/etc will crack—all of this is affected by the variance in each piece of bamboo and wood, how often you do or do not play, the consistency of your playing, the climate where you reside, etc. But as the HMong saying goes, "tshuab thawg ntau lub thiaj keej, tshuab puas ob peb rab thiaj ua tau txiv qeej..."


    Free shipping within the US via USPS First Class/Priority Mail on orders over $50—estimated arrival within 3–5 business days, not guaranteed. Express shipping available for $45—guaranteed arrival in 1–2 business days, excluding your order day. If your order is late, click here for support from USPS.

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