Thumb Pianos

Thumb Pianos

Fair Trade Thumb Pianos

Fair Trade Thumb PianosOur fair trade thumb pianos are a great way to pass some time and get creative. Originating in Africa and traditionally called Mbira (pronounced (um-beer-ra) they have been around for at least 3,000 years. They were made in various guises but all were for musical purposes.

Fair Trade Thumb Pianos - Painted CoconutOver time when the Mbira was brought to the west, it became most commonly known as a thumb piano. Mainly because they are held in the hands and played using your thumbs.

Each and every one of our fair trade thumb pianos have been hand made and hand carved in Indonesia. Some are made from wood and others from discarded coconuts. Some are made in the traditional shapes such as the Calimba and other made into shapes like sunflowers and guitars.

How to Play

Fair Trade Thumb Pianos - Wooden CalimbaThey are easy to play but harder to master. Each thumb piano has a resonating chamber which has a wooden board attached to it. The wooden board then has staggered tines (keys) fixed to it. The tines are what makes the sound. The musical instruments are held in both hands and the thumbs are used to pluck at the tines. The tines are adjustable so that you can make different notes and therefore different sounds.

Fun for all of the family they make great treats for yourself or, great fair trade gifts for friends and loved ones.