The mridanga is a percussion instrument from India. Of ancient origin, it is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in the Carnatic music (South Indian classical music) ensembles and is often accompanied by the ghatam, kanjira, and the mouth harp. The word mridanga is derived from the two Sanskrit words 'Mrid' (clay or earth) and 'Ang' (body). Early mridangas were indeed made of hardened clay and, known as the khol, are still available in that form. Over the years the mridanga evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability. In modern times mechanical devices have been added to adjust the tension of the drum heads. It is widely believed that the tabla, the mridangas North Indian musical counterpart, was first constructed by splitting a mridanga in half.