From Academic Kids
The kora (French: cora) is a 21 string harp-lute used extensively by Mandingo peoples in West Africa. It uses a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin, as a resonator, and has a notched bridge like a lute or guitar. The sound of a kora is like a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco guitar techniques. The player uses only thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns. Ostinato grooves ("Kumbeng") and improvised solo runs ("Biriminting") are played at the same time by skilled players.
Kora players have traditionally come from griot families (traditional entertainers and narrators of stories) who pass their skills on to their descendants. It is played in Mali, Guinea and Senegal, but is most common in The Gambia.
- Kora Music (http://www.kora-music.com/)
- Cora Connection (http://www.coraconnection.com/)
- Allmusic.com (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=C333)de:Kora