The most spectacular exhibits: the giant khomus, tiny khomus, cosmic khomus, etc. are presented at the “Khomus of Olonkho Land” exhibition of People of the World Khomus Museum and Center.

In the XVIII century travelers and researchers mentioned certain khomus-performers. Yakut khomus was described for the first time in the works of the Russian travelers and scientists R. K. Maack, V. L. Sieroszewski, I. A. Khudyakov, A. F. Middendorff, V. Troshchansky and others. In the book "Brief Description of the Verkhoyanskiy Region" I. A. Khudyakov noted that the Yakuts had wooden and bone khomuses, and they could play in group of several people: "The Yakuts tune a song and play a melody also with their favourite and the only musical instrument "khamys" which is put between their teeth. In the days of old the khamys was made from wood and bone, nowadays it is made from wood".

North khomus. Craftsman P. Borisov (Verkhne-Vilyuiskiy region)

The Yakut craftsmen started work especially actively in search of sonorous and melodious instrument after famous composer M. N. Zhirkov’s experiments on khomus sound amplification. He wrote his ideas of reconstruction, khomus sound amplification improvement in the work “The Yakut folk music”. The first “khomus with a ring-resonator” was made by Semyon Innokentyevich Gogolev - Amynnyky Uus designed by Alexander Ivanovich Chakhov. Today in the republic there are a lot of great craftsmen-followers who boldly make their allowances in a choice of metal, form and the size of the instrument, in production of separate details or the body. Khristoforov Ivan Ilyich, the people’s craftsman of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), can be considered as one of the followers. He made “khomus with a ring” in 1997. Also the craftsman Ivan Khristoforov made the smallest khomus in the world which size was 1 cm long and 0.9 cm wide.

Tiny khomus of 1 cm is made by the people’s craftsman of the republic Khristoforov Ivan Ilyich – Kiriheen Uus in 2010 in regard to the Japanese craftsman Ryuji Kojima’s present to the Khomus Museum - Japanese trump koukin, 1.8 cm in size.

Khomus made by the craftsman Chemchoev Revoriy Gavrilyevich was sent to the space with Oleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko – the Hero of Russia, space pilot, Yakut khomus enthusiast. In October, 2013 the duplicate of this khomus was donated to the Memorial Museum of Astronautics, Moscow. Astronaut Oleg Kononenko was first to play on the Yakut khomus at a space station. Khomus made by the craftsman Chemchoev R. G. – Chemche Uus was selected for a space flight. Well-known khomus-performer Stanislav Zhirkov gave some lessons of khomus playing to Oleg Kononenko. On December 21, 2011 the Yakut khomus blasted off by “Soyuz — TMA 03 M” spaceship and spent 192 days, 18 hours, 58 minutes, 37 seconds in the space, having made 2988 orbits around the Earth and travelled 126,6 million km.

Echo of mountains. Improvisation of P. Ogotoev

The steel giant 98 cm high was made by people’s craftsman of the republic Danilov Alexander Dmitrievich in 2011 at the initiative of Borisov A.S., the Minister of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), and it was donated to the museum.

Also olonkho-themed khomuses are exhibited at the museum. Zakharov Ivan Fyodorovich – Kylyadjy Uus from Vilyuysk city made a khomus and dedicated it to Platon Alekseevich Oyunskiy, statesman, founder of the Yakut Soviet literature, the author of olonkho “Nurgun Botur the Swift”, legendary son of the Sakha people.

The craftsman dedicated the khomus named “Nurgun Botur the Swift” to heroic epos Olonkho

Gotovtsev Innokentiy Nikitich, the author of machine manufacturing technology and several inventions of the Yakut khomus, the people’s craftsman of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), said in the memoirs that “The melody of a small phonograph record, released by Leningrad company in the early seventies and performed by the big enthusiast Ivan Egorovich Alekseev, enticed me away to a great path of light to the khomus, i.e. the true love to this instrument woke in my heart ". His career passes in search and experiments. As a result, unique compositions “Home nest”, “Nine consonances”, “Discussion” were created. Khomus (composition) “Home nest” was made in 2000. The composition was based on the idea of home permanence, the relationship of relatives.

Art khomus. Craftsman I. Gotovtsev

Devotees of national culture and traditions will be undoubtedly surprised and amazed by the people’s craftsman of the republic Gotovtsev Innokentiy Nikitich – Khohun Uus collection of khomuses “Discussion”, “Coachman”, compositions of craftsmen Bygynanov Prokopiy Nikitich, Tarabukin Eduard Eduardovich, Orosin Sofron Egorovich, Gotovtsev Roman Ilyich, khomuses of craftsmen Gogolev S. I., Burtsev G.G., Gotovtsev R. I., Kolodeznikov I.K., Osipov P.F., Maltsev M. N., Uarov V.A., Uvarov N. N.

The composition "Serge" ("Tethering-post") of the leading craftsman Maltsev Mikhail Nikolaevich – Kylan Uus is dedicated to the VII International congress-festival "Khomus (trump) in cultural space of the world" which was held in Yakutsk, 2011.

The first khomus symbolizes a sacred number "3" and three souls - "Us kut", gemstones represent inexhaustible natural wealth of Yakutia, the Congress mascot - a kulanik (reindeer fawn) is depicted in the nozzle of the second khomus, in the third khomus – the Universe with stars is represented, the sun is in the middle surrounded by 12 months.

The fourth miniature khomus is located at the top of serge and it can be twisted off.

Khomus with two reeds

The composition of Burtsev German Gavrilievich - Keremen Uus, the people’s craftsman of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), descended from a renowned smiths’ family of Bert Us, was dedicated to the VII International congress-festival "Khomus (trump) in cultural space of the world" and became the winner of the International competition “The Best Khomus of the World” in the nomination “The Best Set of Khomuses” (Yakutsk, 2011). Burtsev G. G. is a foremost promoter of traditional Sakha culture revival and he considers that “Khomus is not only a musical instrument for me. While making khomus in a particular way, I want to give to people life force, purity, love to the native land, I have a rest from problems, strive for the sublime and I almost live upon it…".

Khomuses in composition “Serge” of the craftsman Kolodeznikov Ivan Kononovich - Yurung Uus from the Vilyuiskiy region have a traditional form with an art plate which has a lacing eyelet in addition. He is engaged in khomus making since 1989. The composition is dedicated to the VII International congress-festival "Khomus (trump) in cultural space of the world" and took the 2nd place in the International competition "The Best Khomus of the World" in the nomination "The Best Set of Khomuses" (Yakutsk, 2011). The composition is based upon the idea of Djehegey Aiyy apotheosis.

Traditional khomus. Craftsman S. Gogolev (Megino-Kangalasskiy region)

Living national music culture traditions always promote people’s rapprochement and mutual understanding due to that language of music is international and is clear to the person of any nationality. Enchanting sounds of the khomus, temir komuz, gopuz, parmupill, kumyz, etc., heard in different continents of the Earth, have a magic power which is uniting and working people upon creativity. Khomus can fascinate person of any age, sex and nationality by bewitching sounds. For this reason, khomus is famous all over the world and is a source of great pride for the Sakha people.

Tradition and Modernity. Albina Degtyareva
Credits: Story

Alexey Ivanov, High Achiever in Culture of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), curator and coordinator of the project on inclusion of regional museums of Yakutia into the project "Google Cultural Institute" (e-mail:

Also took part in the exhibition organization:
Eudoxia Sleptsova, champion of exhibition "Khomus of Olonkho Land"
Elizabeth Varlamova, senior research associate of People of the World Khomus Museum and Center
Algys Kun, head of conservation for scientific-fund department of People of the World Khomus Museum and Center
Irina Yakovleva, translator
Alexander Bozhedonov (Storm), photographer

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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