Begena is one of the oldest musical instruments in Ethiopia.It is made from wood, hide and a special string made from intestinal walls of goat or sheep. Begena produces a loud tone. It has ten strings. It resembles kirar from its physical structure, though Begena is bigger in size. The cords are further tightened from an elevated bar called ‘Birkuma’. The Birkuma has small pieces of cut hide on it, which up on vibration make the begena produce sounds like ‘tizz’ and ‘dizz’.


Begena is used in religious songs. Especially during Easter fasting period it is customary to hear religious song played using Begena