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Gotovtsev Innokentiy Nikitich

         A Yakut khomus blacksmith Innokentiy Nikitich Gotovtsev was born on the 13 of April in 1942. He was a teacher during thirty seven years. He was a teacher of the Yakut language, then a teacher of handcraft in school of Namskiy ulus. He becomes not only the jew's harp player known all over the world. He also approved himself as a talented teacher who has his pupils and followers. Aisien Dyachkovskiy is one of them. He is a jew's harp blacksmith also. He makes excellent instruments. I happened to get myself familiar with Innokentiy Nikitich and to visit his master class about making the Yakut khomus. It was given in Summer in 2009 for the participants of the " Competition of different jew's harp blacksmiths".
         The trip to Nam village was long enough, but time spent away together with blacksmiths and jew's harp players. The master greeted the guests, treated them with some kumis and sandwiches. Then everyone began to acquaint themselves, to have photograph taken as a keepsake. The ceremony algyis was organized traditionally.
         The work-room is attached to the house. It is not big, however there is enough space for work one person. There is a round working table with small vice and not big drilling machine in the middle of the room. On the right near the wall there are some machine-tools. I name them from the left to the right. A horizontal milling with a narrow mill for milling a slot for the reed. The next one is a drilling one, an electro grinder, a device for resistance welding and an additional horizontal milling device with a wider mill for processing of level surfaces. On the left you can see a lot of instruments on trivets. And there are lots of special devices.
         The blacksmith told us about the process of making his jew's harps. First of all it is necessary to saw out the contour of the frame of a sheet steel. You need to dreel the big central bore. Then it is necessary to make a slot for the reed in the frame by a milling machine. The final form of the frame is made by an electric mill. Then we deal with the reed. Innokentiy Nikitich experiments with his materials a lot. He showed us the jew's harp reed made of damask steel. But unfortunately this experiment failed. Steel like this flakes easily. On the video you can see the process of hacking out of the reed out of saw blade. They clasp a steel shit in a special tool and make hatching by a hard metal chisel. Then they vise it and chip off the reed billet.
         The ready made reed needs making the bore for fastening. The blacksmith uses the following special devise on which he cut down the bore. The reed with the help of a screw through this bore is fixed to the frame and it is anchored finally by dotty electro-welding.
         There is a blacksmiths shop in a separate apartment where knives and other necessary things are produced. Innokentiy Nikitich after the master class invited the guests to drink tea. Actually it turned out to be real kickback with a lot of delicious food on the table. By the way the host is a supporter of healthy lifestyle. He never on this side of the grave drank a stiffener or smoked a cigarette. There were plenty of kind words and there were played a lot of nice melodies on te jew's harp.
         Innokentiy Nikitich Gotovtsev is a representative of an authorial school of Yakut blacksmiths. His jew's harps have got inimitable sounding. They obey the player very well. Unique timbre obtained hearts of a lot of jew's harp lovers who play the instruments of this blacksmith.


© Vladimir Markov 2009, this article translated by Natalia Ivanitsa