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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More on the Vuvuzela

Here's some more information on the vuvuzela. First, there seems to be a great deal of debate over the instrument's origins. Robyn Dixon of the Los Angeles Times writes:

"There is not even agreement on the horn's origins or the meaning of its name. The International Marketing Council of South Africa says the vuvuzela reportedly originated in the kudu horns used to summon villagers in times past. But Boogieblast (the company who claims to have invented the horn) claims the trumpets were imported as plastic toys from the United States and did not sell -- until soccer fans started using them about a decade ago."

The New York Times offers a little more information. Jere Longman writes:

"Folklore has it that the horn of a kudu, a type of antelope, was once used to summon community meetings. Boogieblast, a South African distributor, says that the plastic horn first arrived here from the United States as a children’s toy and that the use of a sports trumpet can be traced to a Chinese women’s basketball team. A well-known South African soccer fan named Saddam Maake claims to have invented the vuvuzela in 1965 from a bicycle horn."

Here's a fellow enjoying bringing the buzzy sounds of the vuvuzela to life:

If you're really interested, you can buy your own vuvuzela at or World Soccer (sorry I didn't include the links last time). There are more sites to purchase a vuvuzela, but I don't know how trustworthy they are. A single vuvuzela costs between $8-$10.

But watch out! There are some health hazards involved with using the vuvuzela--such as temporary hearing loss, the spread of germs, and "vuvuzela lips."

Dixon, Robyn. "South Africa abuzz over talk of banning soccer fans' favorite horn." Los Angeles Times. Available:

Longman, Jere. "World Cup’s Incessant Drone Will Stay for Now." New York Times. Available:

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