Soundboard: White Spruce Pine
Finger board: Ebony
Type of wood: Jacaranda
Soundhole: Butterfly with nacre
Tuning pins: Golden metallic
Bridge: Bone frets
Approx. size: Length: 66 cm (25.98”) Width: 17.5 cm. (6.82”)
There are many stories of how the charango came to be made with its distinctive diminutive soundbox of armadillo. One story says that the native musicians liked the sound the vihuela ( an ancestor of the Classical Guitar) made, but lacked the technology to shape the wood in that manner. Another story says that the Spaniards prohibited natives from practicing their ancestral music, and that the charango was a (successful) attempt to make a lute that could be easily hidden under a garment. It is believed the charango originated in the 18th century Andes somewhere in modern-day PotosîÎ Bolivia, probably from Amerindian contact with Spanish settlers.