The Brazilian "Alternate Reality" Cigar Box Guitar by Gera

In my book, Making Poor Man's Guitars, I showed how legends can be built into an instrument.  This is when the builder starts thinking of some wild, fictional account of the instrument he's making.  

Just today, I received these photos and description of Gera's version of a cigar box guitar.  He asked himself, "what if a cigar box guitar originated in Brazil?"  Here's his full story:


Hi Shane, 

Thank you for your interest in my work! I bought your book a while ago and it is really inspiring. 

In addition to all the practical part of how to make the instruments, I really enjoyed the idea of creating a fictional story about the origin of the instrument you are going to build. 

With that in mind, and a whole bunch of other things, I wondered what a Brazilian stringed instrument would look like, paralleling the American cigar box guitar. 

I tried to situate this imaginary event in the same period, late 19th century, early 20th. At this time here in Brazil, we had no industrialized products available to the population, most of the population lived in rural areas. 

There is a tradition of different uses of Porongoin Brazil, which is a fruit that after drying can carry food, water, and is used in the construction of instruments such as berimbau. 

Then came the idea of making a Brazilian guitar that never existed but could have existed. It would be a mix of our cultures, catechized indians, runaway slaves, europeans immigrants looking for a new life. 

I'm calling the instrument Chita, which would be an abbreviation for Chitara. And you can hear the sound here: 



o som da chita, a guitarra de porongo #gutguitars #guitarra #guitar #guitarre #cigarboxguitar

A post shared by Gut Guitars (@gutguitars) on


Hope you like! 

A hug from Brazil! 



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