Made by Puisys in Lithuania, 1930 - 1945.

The Museum’s collection contains a number of zithers, mainly of German origin but this instrument is the first Lithuanian instrument to enter the collection and is a very different in shape and design from the heavily lacquered German zithers. However, the Kankles has greater parallels to zithers from Finland, Latvia and Estonia. Traditionally the Kankles was used to play folk melodies and to accompany folk songs and dances but it was also possibly used in rituals. Several types of Kankles exist...


Kankles or zither, with timber body and [spruce] soundboard, wood / metal, made by Puisys, Jurbarkas, Lithuania, 1930-1945, used by Izidorius Giedraitis in Lithuania and Australia

Series of 14 pairs of metal strings stretched over the body. Red stencilled circular decoration on soundboard around sound hole rose with cut petal-like decoration. Angled bridges each end of instrument. Carved horn shaped scroll protrudes from the larger bridge. Two red stencilled strips on soundboard at narrower end of instrument near small bridge.

Includes T-shaped tuning hammer with wooden handle and metal stem.


Made by the kankles maker Puisys in the town of Jurbarkas, Lithuania. The donor noted that the maker lived next to a tiny river called the Imsre with his two sisters who wove floor runners from rag strips, which was a very popular floor covering, especially in Northern Europe. The maker also made looms and weaving necessities.
Puisys 1930 - 1945


Gift of Danute I Giedraityte, 2007
23 January, 2007

Cite this Object

Zither 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 November 2017, <https://ma.as/363166>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/363166 |title=Zither |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.
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