Our professional kora instruments are the product of high-quality contemporary workmanship paying respect to traditional West-African construction. Huge calabash gourds from the Sahel are skinned with African cow hide to serve as the heart of these wonderful instruments. Premium hardwood sourced from Burkina Faso is meticulously hand-carved to form the necks, bridges and handles. The twenty-one strings are made from competition-grade ultra low-stretch monofilament line. Finished with American-made, heavy duty tuning keys.
The Mande Kora is the most sophisticated harp in the family of West African bridge harps and harp-lutes. Its construction and music are unique and completely endemic to West Africa. The kora has a centuries-old musical tradition, being played at royal courts and grand festivals. Found in all Mande cultures. The playing style resembles the finger picking of a blues guitar, and the placement of the strings allows for the playing of chords and harmonies along with fast melodic runs.