The kengirge is a large frame drum, introduced into Tuva by the Tibetan Buddhists. The sides of the kengirge are made of goat skin which is tapped with the fingers or struck with a mallet. The drum is tuned by tightening or slackening the straps around the frame.
Sitting atop the kengirge is the shyngyrash, a set of small bells threaded together. Striking the top of the drum causes the bells to jingle. Such bells serve as ornaments on the heads or necks of horses, so the rhythmic jingling of the bells evokes the sound of trotting horses.
Ayan Shirizhik is shown at center with a kengirge and shyngyrash. Ayan Shirizhik and Ayan Mongush made this kengirge, which was recently refitted with the new skin and straps shown at left. Bady-Dorzhu Ondar made the shyngyrash.