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Thumb piano composed of a rectangular box with one end concavely carved and a series of metal tongues secured over a lateral bar at the other end. The tongues are held in place with strips of wood attached through holes in the wooden body, which is carved out underneath. A beveled peak ornaments the top end.

History Of Use

Sanzas are idiophones made of naturally sonorous material. They have been used for thousands of years in Africa for accompanying singing and dancing. Known by many names, e.g., mbira, thumb piano, finger harp, gourd piano, ikembe, kalimba, kilembe, likembie, likimba, marimbula, mbila, sansu, timbrh, and zanzu.


This instrument is from the area of Ethiopia near the Sudanese and Kenyan borders.

Item History

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