a hand-held African musical instrument consisting of a series of metal or wooden strips mounted on a soundboard and, often, having a resonator formed from a gourd: it is played by plucking the strips with the thumbs and forefingers
of Afr. origin, prob. from a word in Shona (a Bantu language)
See mbira in American Heritage Dictionary 4
An African musical instrument consisting of a hollow gourd or wooden resonator and a number of usually metal strips that vibrate when plucked.