Mbira: Anand Prahlad at the State Historical Society of Missouri
Photo by Shane Epping
About the mbira
The mbira, also known as the African thumb piano, is a musical instrument created and performed by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Made of metal keys attached to a wooden sound board, it's played in religious ceremonies and social gatherings. Bottle caps attached to the board vibrate when when the keys are plucked, producing a sound that is believed to attract the spirits. For amplification, an mbira player might play the instrument inside a carved gourd known as a deze.
Prahlad plays the mbira at Orr Street Studios
Photo by Allison Smythe
Prahlad plays the mbira at the Catacombs Art Market
Photo by Genevieve Howard