Taos Folk Fiddle

Description (Brief)
This folk fiddle was made in the Taos area of New Mexico around the 1920s. This folk fiddle comes from the Taos region of New Mexico. According to its previous owner, this fiddle was used in the village of Truchas by the Penitentes brotherhood to accompany sung prayers (alabados). The wooden case made for this instrument is lined with commercial fabric from the 1920s. The instrument with a long rectangular “box” body bears ornamental “S” sound-holes on the table. The neck is terminated in a plain, flat peg-head with four pegs. This violin is made of wood, painted black overall. The neck is reinforced with a metal plate at the top block area.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
wood (part material)
metal (part material)
paint, lacquer (part material)
overall: 27 3/4 in x 4 1/2 in x 1 3/4 in; 70.485 cm x 11.4935 cm x 4.445 cm
overall: 28 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in x 3 3/4 in; 72.39 cm x 12.065 cm x 9.525 cm
Place Made
United States: New Mexico, Truchas
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

4/16/2016 12:39:01 PM
Sandra Arazi-Coambs
Do you know what type of wood the violin was made out of? Were all parts of the violin made from the same type of wood.
5/17/2016 12:55:41 PM
Culture and the Arts
The violin is covered with a heavy coat of black paint. Likely to be made of wood indigenous to the area, a sample testing has not be done to determine the exact type of wood used in this instrument.
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