One of the most amazing string instruments ever created: a type of harp/lute from West Africa (mainly found in Senegal, Mali, Gambia, and Guinea) with many strings. The instrument consists of a long fingerboard with moveable frets, and two courses of strings running across a large gourd across which an animal skin is stretched. The instrument is held toward the chest with the strings facing toward you, and the gourd has two pegs, one on the each on the left and right of the top. The sound is delicate and tinkly, much like a harp.
Toumane Diabate and Alhaji Bai Konte are two of the top names to seek when you'e looking for a CD of kora music.