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Kadyapi 0708

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 4 months ago
The Kutiyapi-An Indigenous Instrument of the Philippines



By Sarah Choi 




Description and Rationale


 The kutiyapi, a Philippine two-stringed, fretted boat-lute, is the only stringed instrument among the Maguindanaon. It is four to six feet long with nine frets made of hardened beeswax. The instrument is carved out of solid soft wood such as from the jackfruit tree.  Traditionally, the Maguindanaon use the instrument for social events such as birthdays and weddings and also for more private affairs between couples. Although, with the advent of globalization, the importance of the kutiyapi has waned as artists have taken up the guitar instead, as it is louder.


 How big is the role of the Kutiyapi now that the instrument has waned? What can be done to preserve the importance of the Kutiyapi? Can teaching this instrument to children or people bring a lesser chance for people to forget the importance of the Kutiyapi? Is the KUtiyapi hard to learn?


 Through the research about the Kutiyapi and interviews of people who have encountered this instrument or lived in Maguindanaon, it is hoped to be knowm more about this instrument and its effect to people. Moreover, it is also hoped that the importance of the Kutiyapi to these Maguindanaon people will not wane any longer.

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Common Names and Synonyms


Artocarpus heterophyllus is also called the Jackfruit. The name jackfruit originated from the Portuguese Jaca and Jackfruit is called a variety of names around the world. In the Philippines, Tagolog speakers call the jackfruit, Lanka. Other names for the jackfruit are: Nangka (Bicol), jackfrucht (German), Baramil (korean) Chakka (Malayalam) and etcetera.





Kingdom: Plantae (The plant kingdom)

Division: Magnoliophyta (The angiosperms, a division of vascular seed plants having the ovules enclosed in an ovary and well-developed vessels in the xylem.)

Class: Magnoliopsida (The dicotyledons, a class of flowering plants in the division Magnoliophyta generally characterized by having two cotyledons and net-veined leaves, with vascular bundles born in a    ring enclosing a pith.)

Order: Rosales (A morphologically diffuse order of dicotyledonous plants in the subclass Rosidae.)

Family: Moraceae (A family of dicotyledonous woody plants in the order Urticales characterized by two styles or style branches, anthers inflexed in the bud, and secretion of a milky juice.)

Genus: Artocarpus (evergreen Asiatic trees now grown through the tropics: breadfruit; jackfruit)

Species: heterophyllus ("different leaves", refers to the variation in leaf shape between spiny and entire).


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Morphology and Physical Description


Jackfruits are fairly large evergreen trees that are about 25-30 meters tall. Its wood is solid, soft, durable and its leaves are dark green, alternate and glossy. Moreover, they are somewhat leathery, oval shaped on mature wood and deeply lobed on young shoots. All parts of the leaf contain a sticky white latex.


Short, stout flowering twigs emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from the soil-covered base of very old trees. The tree is monoecious (which means that it has a unisexual reproductive organs or flowers) : tiny male flowers are born in oblong clusters 2 to 4 in (5-10 cm) in length; the female flower clusters are elliptic or rounded. Largest of all tree-born fruits, the jackfruit may be 6 to 20 in (15-50 cm) wide, and the weight ranges from 10 to 60 or even as much as 110 lbs. The "rind' or exterior of the compound fruit is green or yellow when ripe and composed of numerous hard, cone-like points attached to a thick and rubbery, pale yellow or whitish wall. The interior consists of large "bulbs" (fully developed perianths) of yellow, banana-flavored flesh, massed among narrow ribbons of thin, tough undeveloped perianths (or perigones), and a central, pithy core. Each bulb encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown "seed" (endocarp) covered by a thin white membrane. The seed is 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) long and 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana. The core of the Jackfruit is relatively large, but there are fewer "rags" and more of the edible fruit.


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Getting Food


The following are the favorable conditions for the plant to grow best:

Temperature: Jackfruit is tolerant of relatively low mean temperatures. Although, Jackfruit trees sometimes successfully tolerate high temperatures up to 46º C. [114º F.].

Water: Jackfruit trees need abundant rainfall, or equivalent irrigation. There is no doubt, though, that drier zones can produce good crops with appropriate irrigation. Jackfruit trees are often planted along the banks of streams, where the roots can reach water. They do not do well very close to the ocean, having almost no tolerance for salinity in the soil.

Soil: Jackfruit trees grow best in a rich, deep, well-drained sandy clay or clay loam, high in organic matter, pH range of 6 - 7.




Jackfruit flowers are wind and insect pollinated and generally require cross-pollination. Also, planting more than one cultivar may be of benefit. Mature jackfruit trees may produce from 40 to over 110 pounds (18-114 kg) per tree, depending on the cultivar, weather, and cultural practices.

Jackfruit are very difficult to transplant successfully with its long and delicate taproot. Budding and grafting attempts have often been unsuccessful, though Ochse considers the modified Forkert method of budding feasible. Either jackfruit or champedak seedlings may serve as rootstocks and the grafting may be done at any time of year.


Environmental Factors


The jackfruit is adapted only to humid tropical and near-tropical climates. It is sensitive to frost in its early life and cannot tolerate drought. If rainfall is deficient, the tree must be irrigated. In India, it thrives in the Himalayan foothills and from sea-level to an altitude of 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in the south. It is stated that jackfruits grown above 4,000 ft (1,200 m) are of poor quality and usable only for cooking. The tree ascends to about 800 ft (244 m) in Kwangtung, China.

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Origin and Distribution


No one knows the jackfruit's place of origin but it is believed indigenous to the rainforests of the Western Ghats-which is a low mountain range in West India. It is common in the Philippines, both cultivated and naturalized. There are over 11,000 acres planted to jackfruit in Ceylon, mainly for timber. The tree is commonly cultivated throughout Thailand for its fruit. In the Philippines, the solid soft wood of the Jackfruit is carved for making an indigenous instrument called the Kutiyapi. Away from the Far East, the jackfruit has never gained the acceptance accorded the breadfruit (except in settlements of people of East Indian origin). This is due largely to the odor of the ripe fruit and to traditional preference for the breadfruit.


Importance to People


There are many uses of the Jackfruit such as its leaves for cattles to eat and Jackfruit itself to be eaten by cattles. The bark of the Jackfruit has 3.3% tannin in the bark which is occasionally made into cordage or cloth. In addition, its wood is used to make medical uses and beautiful furnitures which makes it important to people specifically in the Philippines.

In the Maguindanaon, a specific place in the Philippines, the wood of the Jackfruit is used for making their indigenous instrument called the Kutiyapi which is useful for social events such as birthdays and weddings.


Survivability and Endangered Status


There are over 11,000 acres planted to jackfruit in Ceylon, mainly for timber and the jackfruit have no problem surviving. Moreover, the jackfruit is not endangered. 



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Potential Solutions


What can we do to preserve the importance of the Kutiyapi or the Kutiyapi itself? From my interview with Fai, I have found out that students are using modern instruments for worship and use English words. He told me that maybe if we use instruments like the Kutiyapi and use Maguindanaon words, it will help preserve the importance of the Kutiyapi and the Kutiyapi itself. What are some other ways we can preserve the Kutiyapi?


Possibility 1


Possibility 1: Teach Them How to Play The Kutiyapi


People who can play the Kutiyapi can teach children or people how to play it. Then it will bring a better chance for the Kutiyapi to be recognized and not wane any longer.



1) The more people learn how to play the Kutiyapi, the more it will be recognized by people-especially the Filipinos.

2) People who care about their indigenous or traditional instruments don’t have to worry about losing their Filipino spirit in music.



1) Learning how to play the Kutiyapi may not be easy for some people.

2) It may take a while for people to want to learn the instrument because first, it is not very easy to learn the instrument and second, most people tend to learn how to play modern instruments like the guitar, violin and etcetera. 

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Possibility 2


Possibility 3: Online Teaching


Someone who can play the Kutiyapi can teach people online.



1) People who want to learn how to play the Kutiyapi don’t have to worry about finding someone who can play the Kutiyapi.

2) People can learn the instrument for free.



1) Kutiyapi is not a popular instrument and therefore is hard to find the instrument to play it.

2) Having a hard time finding the Kutiyapi to play might cause someone to not want to learn the instrument.


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Possibility 3


Possibility 4: Kutiyapi Can Be Used In Worship


Kutiyapi can be played with modern instruments in worship for more people to recognize the instrument.



1) People will recognize the instrument.

2) People will be interested in finding out about the Kutiyapi for it is an indigenous instrument of the Philippines.



1) If the sound of the Kutiyapi does not flow well with the sound of the modern instruments, people will not like it.

2) Finding someone to play the Kutiyapi might be hard to find.

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 Environmental Challenge Project



“Common names.” Wikipedia.org. Jackfruit. 11 April, 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit>

“Jackfruit.”  Wikipedia.org. Jackfruit. 11 April, 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit>

“Jackfruit.”  Hort.purdue.edu. Jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus. 11 April, 2008. <http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jackfruit_ars.html> /             Morton, J. 1987. Jackfruit. p. 58–64. In: Fruits of warm climates.            Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

“Jackfruit.”  Crfg.org. JACKFRUIT Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. 11 April, 2008. <http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jackfruit.html>

“Kutiyapi.”  Wikipedia.org. Kutiyapi. 25 April, 2008.   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutiyapi>

“Kutiyapi.”  Pnoyandthecity.blogspot.com. Exhibit: Traditional Music of the Southern.      25 April, 2008 <http://www.pnoyandthecity.blogspot.com/>

“Kutiyapi.”  Fai. Internet Interview. 4 May, 2008.    

“Morphology of the Jackfruit.” www.ces.iisc.ernet.in. BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION SYSTEM Plants of Western Ghats. 11 April, 2008. <http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/hpg/cesmg/pew/arthet.html>

“Reproduction of the Jackfruit” www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Jackfruit Growing in the Florida Home Landscape. 11 April, 2008. <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG370


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