I first learned of the sape while watching a documentary about Borneo many years ago.
As both a dulcimer and clawhammer banjo player I am fascinated by this beautiful instrument and its music. Listening to the music of the sape and observing the techniques of playing it have helped me grow as a musician.
The two tunings I have heard of are either similar to 1-5-5 or open tunings based on a major chord. The sapes I have seen in pictures and videos commonly have four strings but I have also seen a few with three.
The strumming technique using the thumb is similar to strumming a dulcimer yet also reminiscent of clawhammer banjo.
The sape is a quiet instrument. Contemporary players often play electric sapes and often one sape player will be accompanied by another.
If a picture is worth a thousand words these videos should be worth much more!
And a sape lesson!