This image shows two types of mbira – the more familiar mbira dzavadzimu, as well as a type of mbira known as matepe or hera. In this photo, matepe/hera are identifiable by their hollow soundboards and thin keys, while mbira dzavadzimu are recognizable by their rectangular metal buzzer plates and the holes drilled on the right-hand side of their soundboards. Both types of instruments can be played with or without calabash resonators, or mateze, which serve to amplify their sound. The matepe/hera in this photograph belong to musicians in Nyanhewe Village, Rushinga. The mbira dzavadzimu instruments were likely brought to Nyanhewe by members of the visiting research group led by Lucy Duran and Tessa Watt.
Photograph taken by Lucy Duran during a research trip for the BBC’s radio program “Talking Drum,” produced by Tessa Watt. Image used with the permission of Lucy Duran.