Sompoton or Sumpotan, is a mouth organ made from gourd with bamboo pipes in the northern Borneo. It originated from the state of Sabah and is played by both male and female indigenous people in the state especially by the Kadazan-Dusun and Murut.
A sompoton consists of eight pieces of bamboo pipe inserted into a dried gourd sealed with bees wax, which serves as a wind chamber. Unlike a bamboo flute, which is a straight pipe, the sompoton is a ‘mouth organ’ as it contains vibrating reeds. Curiously, also unlike a flute which is played only by expelled air; a sompoton can be played by both inhalation and exhalation. In Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, at the Filipino crafts market one is likely to find ‘ornamental sompotons’ with only two reeds; but at the Sabah Cultural Centre one finds completely functional/playable sompotons with the full complement of 7 reeds. Traditionally, the individual pipes have their own names, such as lombohon, monongkol, suruk, baranat, randawi, tuntuduk and tinangga.
Note: For display only.