From Academic Kids
Xalam, also called khalam, is a traditional stringed musical instrument from West Africa. The xalam is thought to have originated from modern-day Mali, but some believe that, in antiquity, the instrument may have originated from ancient Egypt.
The xalam, in its standard form, is a simple lute with one to five strings. The wooden body (soundbox) of the instrument is oval-shaped and covered with the hide of cattle. The strings of the xalam are typically made of nylon; these strings are fixed to the instrument's wooden neck by leather rings. By moving these rings, the instrument's tune can be adjusted.