Object photography

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On View East India Marine Hall, level 2

Object description

  • African artist
  • Musical instrument, about 1830
  • Steel, wood
  • Africa
  • H: 1 1/2 in, W: 5 1/2 in, D: 4 in (H: 3.8 cm, W: 14.0 cm, D: 10.2 cm)
  • Gift of Mrs. Cleveland, 1830
  • E6734
Musical instrument, about 1830 Steel and wood Africa Gift of Mrs. Cleveland, 1830 E6734 Instruments like this one appear throughout Africa and are known by many different names, such as thumb piano or finger xylophone. Such an instrument may have as few as 8 metal keys or as many as 36, which the player plucks to make music.


East India Marine Society Collection


This is a lamellophone (or karimba) instrument that resembles a thumb piano. It has nine metal tongues of varying lengths held over a rectangular base by an oblong of wood and steel.

Exhibition History

  • Odyssey: A Journey into World Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; October 16, 1999 through January 11, 2001
  • East India Marine Hall, Peabody Essex Museum; November 15, 2013 through Present