Mbira dza vadzimu made from iron and wood. The keys, or lamellae, are made from scrap iron. There are twenty two flat ended lamellae in all: nine on the right; seven on the lower left row and six on the higher left row. The lamellae are secured to the soundboard by an upper and lower bridge with a straining bar between the two. The soundboard is a square grooved piece of mukwa wood with a hole for the right little finger on the bottom right hand corner. Overall the lamellae are arranged in a V-shape. Bottle caps mounted on soundboard.

The mbira dza vadzimu is traditionally played by the Shona-speaking people of Zimbabwe. The mbira dza vadzimu is placed in a gourd which amplifies the sound. Usually two or more performers play repeated patterns of notes against each other. The resulting sound is a dense, contrapuntal texture. The bottle caps on the soundboard create a buzzing sound.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

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