X98.34.16 Lamellophone or “thumb piano”

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Lamellophone or thumb piano-

Nalerigu, Ghana

Mamprussi peoples

Wood, nails, bamboo

H: 57.7 cm, W: 35.2 cm, D: 27.7 cm (H: 22.7 in, W: 13.8 in, D: 10.9 in)

Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X98.34.16

Category:
Description

Large box-shaped lamellophones with three to eight keys are found among the number of northern Ghanaian groups, as well as among the Asante peoples of south central Ghana. The musician sits on top of the instrument and plucks the keys, which are between his legs. A three-key example nearly identical to this instrument was played by a Kumase-based Agoro group at the durbar, or public festival, held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Asentehene Opoku Ware II’s reign in 1980.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 248

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