The dombyra (#домбыра) is a lute-style instrument. It is an ancient and quintessential piece of Kazakh culture and identity.
In its most popular form, the dombra has two strings strung down a long, skinny neck and a pear-shaped body, flat at the front and rounded on the back.
The dombyra is played to mimic the sounds of the natural world that traditional Kazakh life is strongly connected to. If one listens closely, one can hear the sounds of the rustling of steppe grasses, the trickling of a mountain stream, the calls of birds, and of course, the grunts and neighs of the animal most revered by Kazakhs, the horse. Using the hollow body of the dombyra as an improvised drum, even the sound of beating hooves can be produced.