Introduction to the kalimba: History, origins and types of kalimbas

The kalimba is a unique African instrument that dates back many years. It consists of a collapsed metal plate with nails connected to metal rods that hold the strings. All the player has to do is wiggle his fingers to produce a melody. Often used for rituals and religious ceremonies, the kalimba is one of the best-known instruments. smiley face


The kalimba is one of the oldest and most universal instruments on the African continent. The first trace of the instrument dates back to the 15th century, when metal nails were found in tombs in the kingdoms of Middle Congo.

The kalimba has been played in rituals and religious ceremonies across Africa for centuries. Although the exact method of playing may have varied from region to region, the kalimba was fundamentally the same in all cultures.


The kalimba originated in the kingdoms of Middle Congo, where it was invented by the Chokwe and Luba peoples. The Chokwe and Luba tribes lived in areas of Congo and Zaire now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In these regions, music and the kalimba were seen as a means of communicating with the spiritual world. People played melodies and patterns to conjure up the spirits and animals that visited their camps. smiley face

Types of kalimbas

There are many different types of kalimbas. Most are made from metal blades, although some are made from wood or aircraft. The most popular are the 17-, 10- and 8-note kalimbas. There are also percussion kalimbas, used to complete the melody of an instrument.

The 17-note kalimbas are the most popular because they are easy to play and have a deep, rich sound quality. The 10- and 8-note kalimbas are much less expensive and can be played easily by beginners. They don't produce as rich a sound as their 17-note counterparts. smiley face


The kalimba is a unique instrument that dates back many years. Used to conjure spirits and animals, it has been played in religious ceremonies and rituals throughout Africa. With its intuitive notes, deep, rich sounds and range of available options, the kalimba is an excellent option for beginning musicians. smiley face

Are you ready to explore the world of the Kalimba? Then hurry up and start learning to play your favorite tunes! 🤩