I bought that kora in July 1997 to Mamadi Kouyate, a musicology brilliant student and a kora player, 20 years old. He was then the one of a disciple of M.
he kora is a hand-crafted
cordophon from West Africa. A traditional kora is made of :
a soundtable made of big gourd (calabash) covered by a cowhide or goathide nailed with upholstery tracks. This soundtable
is stuck off on the right of its convex part to create the soundhole (kora bunda).
a palissander's hardwood neck (falo) ringed by 21 leather bands or rings (nkonso) used for nailing the strings ;
an iron anchor ring
(djoutene) fixed at the top of the neck and the soundtable's base ;
a horizontal hardwood rod (barambando) crossing the soundtable ;
2 vertical hardwood grips (bulu kalamo) crossing the soundtable from part to part ;
(bato) stuck to the soundtable, fixed right at place only by strings pressure and resting on a piece of wood (bato fingingko), pressed against
the very cow-skin and sometimes surrounded by a red tissue ;
21 nylon strings (julu) of fishing line (in the past, of twisted leather) linked to the
neck by the leather rings and fixed on two parallel rows set on a bridge
(11 at left, 10 at right), which is perpendicular to the cow-skin soundtable.
A kora player is called korafolá (who is able to make the kora talk) - korafolálu, plural.