Kobza. An ancient string instrument of the lute family. (Photo: Kobza). Of eastern origin, it was known in Ukraine as early as the 11th century, but became popular only in the 16th century, when it was used to accompany the recitation of dumas by the kobzars. Eventually, it was supplanted by the bandura, which has a larger body, longer neck, and more strings. Today ‘kobza’ and ‘bandura’ are often used synonymously.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]