sana (Thumb Piano)

About this object

History of use

The sana, or thumb-piano, is a plucked instrument consisting of a number of metal tongues over a wooden board or box resonator. The tongues are held in position by a lateral grass bar with one end of each tongue left free to be plucked. Sanas are an integral part of many ceremonies and rituals, especially those connected with birth, initiation, marriage and death.

Cultural context

Entertainment; ceremonial.

Physical description

Rectangular thumb-piano carved from one piece of wood hollowed out and separate sides glued on. Ten metal playing strips (7.7 to 11.6 cm. in length), one is missing at the side, separated by a strip of grass ? fibres attached through fourteen holes.