Many HMong musicians say the raj ntsaws is the hardest Hmong instrument to play—even moreso than the qeej! This is because in addition to having 6 fingering holes, as opposed to only 5 holes on the more popular raj nplaim qab ntev and raj nplaim qab luv, the ability to control one's breath when playing the raj ntsaws is extremely crucial—just a small change in how hard one blows can change the musical octave of any note. Coupled with the typically faster music of the raj ntsaws, only extremely talented musicians are able to speak/play the "six-finger" or rau-ntiv styles of the raj ntsaws musical languages well.
These are expertly crafted in Luang Prabang, Laos by Xov Yeeb Vaaj.
Raj Ntsaws | HMong Bamboo Recorder
These raj ntsaws measure between 19 inches (48 cm) and 20 inches (50 cm) long and approximately 0.75 inches (2 cm) in diameter/thickness. The ntsaws, or mouthpiece plug, is made from hardwood. The body of the flute is made from dried and cured bamboo.