Soundbox: White Spruce Pine
Type of wood: Naranjillo
Strings: Wound Strings
Tuning Pins: Metallic
Bridge: Bolivian Jacaranda and bone frets†
Tuning: Mi 4.40 (From low to high pitches: Sol, Do, Mi, La, Mi)
There are many stories of how the charango came to be made with it's 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 PotosÓő Bolivia, probably from Amerindian contact with Spanish settlers.