Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano

Strike up a song with Paul and Sue Bergstrom's thumb piano handcrafted from a hollowed-out gourd.

$40.00

Paul and Sue Bergstrom created by

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

read more about the maker

Thumbs Up!

This petite instrument carries with it thousands of years of African musical tradition. Called a kalimba, mbira, mbila, or marímbula depending on the region in which it's played, the first version of this handheld thumb piano originated in Africa over 3,000 years ago! Lightweight and portable, the thumb piano was the chosen instrument of traveling troubadours, who would retell the history of their tribe in song.

Whether you use it to strike up your own story or to teach little ones about music, Paul and Sue Bergstrom's handcrafted thumb piano is the ideal instrument to carry a tune. Atop a beautiful, hollowed-out gourd are 8 numbered tines that correspond with traditional notes on the diatonic scale. The tines, or keys, are made of tempered spring steel that is hand-cut and rounded. To play, simply cradle the gourd in your hands and pluck the tines with your thumbs. Handmade in Blairsville, Georgia.

Includes easy-to-follow songbook filled with traditional melodies like "You are my sunshine," "Kumbaya," and "Happy Birthday."

US_GA

Made in Georgia

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

created by

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

location

Georgia

Nothing brings Paul and Sue Bergstrom more joy than sharing their love of music. The couple, who live in the mountains of north Georgia, craft Kalimbas—a type of thumb piano that originated in Africa—out of gourds and wood. When Paul creates an instrument, he works to "feel" the sound. "Only after my wife has installed the key set and tuned it do I get to hear the end result of my work," he says.

Aesthetic beauty is just as important, even when it can't be seen. A few years ago, Paul recalls a show where a young blind girl chose her own Kalimba. When she found her match, a cannonball gourd, she knew instantly. "She said, 'It's beautiful, I can feel it,'" shares Paul. "In that moment, my wife and I realized that what we were doing was very right."

Handmade Made in the USA
Made from
gourd, acrylic paint, nickel plated steel, baltic birch wood, steel stamped metal
Measurements
5" Diameter
Ingredients
Care
Wipe with soft cloth as needed
Item ID
23520

Still haven't found the details you're looking for? Check out our Product Q&A!

Most of our items are in stock and will ship quickly. Orders for in-stock items placed before 5pm ET Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays, will ship in the US:
Economy shipping:
within 8 days, arriving no later than the 9th business day after the order was placed.
Standard shipping:
within 4 days, arriving 5 business days after the order was placed.
Preferred shipping:
within 2 days, arriving 3 business days after the order was placed.
Expedited shipping:
within 1 day, arriving 2 business days after the order was placed.
Express shipping:
will ship the same day and arrive 1 business day later.

As actual gourds are used to make this product, each one may vary slightly in size


also by Paul and Sue Bergstrom

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Great gift for a music lover!

5

My husband loves tooling around with his thumb piano. He is a very talented musician, and was able to pick it up and play it right away. Great sound!

Baltimore, MD

true

Love it!

5

My daughter uses it for fun. She is a percussionist at school so she loves to sit around and make music with her hands. Perfect gift for her to do this with.

Oak forest Illinois

true

Unique and Fun Musical Gift

5

This is a very fun gift for people who have little music background. A chance to make music.

Washburn, WI

true

Secret Santa found a great gift.

5

Nothing negative about this gift. He will love it. So will everyone else.

Hesperia, CA

true

Great gift idea for the hard to buy for.

4

Well made and something different larger than I thought but perfect for leaving out as a conversation starter.

Portland, Oregon

true

I would purchase item again

5

Instrument will be added to a collection of unique musical instruments purchased all around the world. Has a good sound

Mississauga, Canada

true

A beautiful gift!

5

My sister-in-law says it is just beautiful. Hopefully she will use it for jam sessions or just gently play as she sits on her patio. Whatever helps heal her soul.

Kansas City, MO

true

Ridiculously Fun

5

The musical gourd was a nostalgic purchase. It reminds me of a delightful instrument my second grade teacher kept in the classroom. It is sturdy and attractive, and just the right shape and weight to fit nicely in my hands. It comes with a simple songbook that you can master with a few tries. It is a bit out of tune, and I have not yet tackled the tuning process to see how that works. When I walk by it I can't help but pick it up and plink my way through the songs. It puts a great big smile on my face every time I play it.

Richmond, Texas

true

Cool gft for grandson

4

he is a musician and loves unique things.

PA

true

Worth EVERY penny! And, you cannot beat the quality!

5

From the moment he saw it,...he has been playing it constantly! I appreciated the quality of the instrument...and its sound is great! Thank you for the joy it will bring!

Mount Vernon, WA

true

Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano

4.8 115

98.2

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