Stick zither (zeze?)

Unknown people
19th century

Object Place: Possibly Zanzibar, Tanzania


Length 64 cm, width 21 cm, depth 19.5 cm (Length 25 3/16 in., width 8 1/4 in., depth 7 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, gourd, plant fiber

Not On View


Musical Instruments



Bar-shaped body of dark wood covered with incised geometric designs. Three cylindrical-shaped “frets” protrude on each side. Calabash resonator and collar tied to body with cotton (?) cord. Four strings of twisted plant fiber tied to small knob at distal end of body and to one of two knobs of fork at proximal end. Piece of broken quill (?) tied under strings near forked end of body.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection