Lamellaphone (mbira)

Probably Shona people
mid-20th century


Object Place: Zimbabwe

Dimensions

Length 23.7 cm, width 21 cm, depth 5 cm (Length 9 5/16 in., width 8 1/4 in., depth 1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

1986.604

Medium or Technique

Wood, iron, bottle caps

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

Collections

Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Idiophones

One-piece box-shaped body of fig tree wood (?), hollowed-out from one end about half way in. Twenty-four lamellae of iron held in place by straining bar of iron and iron wire. Wood backrest and iron bridge. Lower portion of soundtable surface covered by sheet of metal attached with iron wire, on top of which are nine bottle caps (some marked “Lion Lager”), each attached by iron wire.

Provenance

1986, sold by Douglas Deihl, Florence, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 26, 1986)

Credit Line

Mary L. Smith Fund