Arts and Culture -Tsii Edo Ai

Description: Follow the template below and analyze a self-chosen piece of artwork that you view using Collections-Google Art and Culture. You may choose any museums listed on this web site. Please choose professional artwork only. Do not choose children’s artwork. You will find no researchable information on this type of artwork. Look at the websites of a few museums to see what theircollection has on display and/or what travelling exhibitions they are currently featuring. Choose any form of art: a drawing, painting, print, sculpture, installation or digital.Do not choose an architectural piece. This is an art course. You must have visited the museum while enrolledin this class. It may NOT be a museum that you have visited in the pastand have pictures to show.



The Tsii Edo Ai

Located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Tsii Edo Ai is an Indian musical artwork made up of wood and a swing. The musical instrument is also known as the Apache tsii Edo. It has a woody body pierced by a peg that tunes the single and is a unique instrument used for personal enjoyment (The Met, 2000, p. 1). It is a perfect accompaniment for songs and dances in the home. The Tsii Edo Ai is made up of wood, snew, and horsehair. The artwork was relocated to New York City from Indian, while it was originally made of wood, metal, gut, and polychrome before it was modernized to align with modern instruments. However, in modern times, the raw materials vary depending on the purpose and melody the artist is seeking to achieve. Using different raw materials distorts the quality and the neat melodious sounds that the musical instrument produces. The artwork sits on an Indian map section where it is easily accessible before transitioning into deeper Indian traditions, cultures present in the Met Museum. The Tsii Edo Ai is a relatively small artwork. It’s approximately 7 centimeters tall and 35.6 centimeters in width. The bow is approximately 17 inches long, while other social scientists argue that it is 43.2 centimeters long and 35.5cm wide, equivalent to 17 inches by 14 inches (The Met, 2000, p. 2).

The history of the museum

The Met Museum of Art is widely recognized worldwide due to its wide array of historical artworks and pieces that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The Museum boasts a large collection of musical instruments that explore the artistry of instruments spanning 5,000 years of history (The Met, 2000, p. 1).  Musical instruments such as the Tsii Edo Ai provide an in-depth history of modern musical instruments’ evolution and genesis in the Museum.

How the artwork is hung?

The artwork is open for public viewing at the Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681. It is classified under the Chordophone-Zither-Bowed (The Met, 2000). The Tsii Edo Ai hangs horizontally in the Musical instruments wing next to the American wing in a vast wall that accentuates the vast ceiling to bestow the Museum’s entry.

What else is in the room?

The vast arrays of musical instruments adorn the Musical Instruments room. For decades the instruments have been recorded as the most ancient form of entertainment among the American Indian.  The instrument was used to celebrate all occasions, from traditional songs to religious activities in the Temple.

The materials used, techniques, and style of the artwork.

The artwork is made of ink on paper and signifies the vibrant forms of entertainment of  the indigenous Americans and  has its origins in Chiricahua, Arizona, predominantly occupied by American Indians. This artwork is a masterpiece made and sculpted by Geronimo (Goyaale), an American Indian living in the United States between 1829- 1909 (The Met, 2001, p. 2). The Tsii Edo Ai is a masterpiece that has been widely referenced as the original chest/stomach-strapped music instruments with chords that produce perfect melodies. The artwork generates a series of unique experiences and moments and a glance at the immense melodies that move the crowds. It is a masterpiece that was well crafted to match the innovative generation of the great and renowned paintings of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889.

The historical significance and meaning of the piece, its purpose, context and its content

After an in-depth analysis of the artwork, it was evident it exudes a landscape and oblique structures akin to Indian painting but symbolizes a conceptual familiarity with what ancient instrument making entails. For decades, the Tsii Edo Ai has received worldwide recognition for its unique symbol of art in Indian culture and its contribution to the music arena, and the profound familiarity with the area. According to The Met Museum, Geronimo (Goyaale) was a renowned painter and music enthusiast and often used the Tsii Edo Ai to entertain people and only painted it to educate the Indian culture, style, and traditions (Britannica, 2002, p. 4).  The Tsii Edo Ai was used to curate and position him at the world’s center stage to celebrate his love for painting familiar things and objects with unfamiliar combinations, unlike everyday contemporary artists.


Figure 1: The Tsii Edo Ai

The Tsii Edo Ai depicts the growth and development of musical instruments over time. While in the Museum, I noticed the ancestors stroked the single string to produce sound and tunes with bare hands. It was also interesting to see the long buckle used to strap the instrument across the chest or stomach to ease use. The artwork is light in weight and portable. The artwork exhibits form and structure that resembles a guitar. During the street view, I also got the opportunity to cross-check the artwork’s rear side. The rearview boosts a detailed finishing and well-defined and neat border lines that accentuate the piece of art while increasing visibility. The rear side also comprises a solid and tan color that reignites the color and splendor of the workpiece. The rear side is covered with a translucent nylon piece to preserve the artwork’s materials.  The Tsii Edo Ai also has a bow sparingly hanging in a rounds shaped hood that provides optimal support for this instrument. The bow is the major instrument of play and complements the should strap cylindrical container strapped on the chest or stomach.

Children were taught via apprenticeship to play the instrument to pass on the skill to future generations. In modern contemporary times, artists have adopted the skill and sculpted the musical instrument but have not managed to match the original instrument’s wood finishes. The Tsii Edo Ai is adorned with a golden finish to achieve an artistic masterpiece appealing to the eye.  Most of these materials are organic and sourced in the rural regions of Chiricahua. The item is shaped to resemble the ancient bow and arrow as it brings people from all walks of life to celebrate and dance. This musical artwork serves as a reminder of the evolution and genesis of folk songs and dance before the Europeans arrived in the Americas. Although the Tsii Edo Ai concept and image have been borrowed to craft modern musical instruments, the original Tsii Edo Ai still stands out and has become a good source of inspiration and talents in the modern contemporary world (Britannica, 2002, p. 2).

To sum up, the  Tsii Edo Ai is widely studied by musical enthusiasts, singers, and song composers to derive synonymous sounds that are not available in mainstream media.  The Tsii Edo Ai acts as a reference to researchers seeking inspiration and motivation to develop new musical instruments. Most European and American singers borrow the American Indian music strings’ tandem, as they boasted unique style artists that they had not heard. The Tsii Edo Ai is a beloved piece in the Museum, and many Indians and non-Indian visit the Met Museum of Art to appreciate the tunes they have heard of the musical instruments.

Works Cited

Britannica, 2002. Tsii Edo Ai. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 2021].

The Met, 2000. Gallery 681 Musical Instruments. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 2021].

The Met, 2000. Google Arts and Culture -Tsii Edo Ai. [Online]
Available at:

The Met, 2000. Tsii Edo Ai. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 2021].

The Met, 2001. Tsii Edo Ai. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 2021].



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