Monday, October 15, 2007

The Many Uses of Gourds

The Mississippi State Fair's crafts chairman told me last fall that she purchases gourds and then resells her gourd crafts for a profit.
I recently learned from Mark Holdaway's Kalimba Magic newsletter that these traditional African thumb pianos are now being made out of gourds. One can actually purchase gourd kalimbas to play very lively and pleasant tunes on them. If you have ever seen anyone twiddling their thumbs, the following video will show that if you add a kalimba to the mix, it can be a productive and enjoyable pasttime:

The Catania 12 Note Gourd Piano
(less than one minute long)

Gourd kalimba
Kalimba and Mark Holdaway

1 comment:

  1. The traditional use of the gourd was as a sounding chamber to put the kalimba INSIDE. I am pretty sure that making a kalimba body out of a gourd is a non-traditional idea, based on Wikipedia's entry on the Mbira.

    Good to hear from you. Thanks for the plug.