22 Key mbira - The African thump piano made from sofa springs,bicycle sporks (recyable materials

$60.00

Availability:
In Stock
Product Code:
MUSC01

Description

The type of mbira shown here, of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, consists of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a gwariva (hardwood soundboard) made from the mubvamaropa tree (Pterocarpus angolensis). Although the metal keys were originally smelted directly from rock containing iron ore, now they may be made from sofa springs, bicycle spokes, car seat springs, and other recycled or new steel materials. The mbira is usually placed inside a large calabash resonator (deze) to amplify it. A mutsigo (stick) is used to wedge the mbira securely inside the deze. The mbira is played with the two thumbs stroking down and the right forefinger stroking up.

Mbira (the name of both the instrument and the music) is mystical music which has been played for over a thousand years by certain tribes of the Shona people, a group which forms the vast majority of the population of Zimbabwe, and extends into Mozambique. Mbira pervades all aspects of Shona culture, both sacred and secular. Its most important function is as a "telephone to the spirits", used to contact both deceased ancestors and tribal guardians, at all-night bira (pl. mapira) ceremonies. At these ceremonies, vadzimu, including midzimu (spirits of family ancestors), mhondoro (spirits of deceased chiefs) and makombwe (the most powerful guardian spirits of the Shona), give guidance on family and community matters and exert power over weather and health.

Physical Address

National Handicraft Developing and Marketing Centre No. 4 Grant / Chinhoyi Streets P. O. Box 66210 Kopje, Harare Zimbabwe

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