139 [mbira]

Image ( JPEG format )

East Africa
body: wood
lamellas: 10, iron; L.28.0cm

Also called sanza, sansa, lukembe and kalimbe. A number of thin, spatula-shaped pieces of metal are individually tuned, and plucked with the thumbs and index fingers. Small rings around the metal lamellas are vibrated with each stroke, and produce a sharp, buzzing effect. Although usually played only for the performer's pleasure, the instrument is also occasionally used in ensemble groups of three or four.

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