THE LEGEND OF KORA: African String Instrument

The Kora is known as one of the most complex string instruments. The instrument originates back in Africa and specifically the country of Gambia. Compared to modern times, the Kora resembles both the guitar and the harp, also in the string family. The Kora was developed in the 16th century. African griots would use the Kora as a way to keep their oral history alive. When Africans came to America in bondage, the kora was one of the instruments that made it to America. Due to its many strings African Americans had room to showcase creativity, versatility, and diversity in sound.  

Kora means Journey

Here are YouTube videos showing how the Kora is played today. 

 

 

 

Enjoy this YouTube video showing how the Kora is handmade.

Kora's Role in Folk Music

The kora was played along other folk instruments such as the djembe, the bones, the banjo, the fiddle, and others. These folk instruments helped keep the enslaved in touch with their roots back home, in Africa. These beautiful sounds made with these instruments just to feel close to home ended up making people all over feel things as well. Folk music, unknowingly, shaped music as we know it today from country to even rap.