Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

sansa (thumb piano)
  • unknown Chokwe maker
  • sansa (thumb piano), late 1800s–1908
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • wood, metal, carving, incising
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 24 x 20 x 6 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 9 7/16 x 7 7/8 x 2 3/8 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3201

The rectangular wooden thumb piano has a resonating chamber that opens to the end. There is a thin metal rod with six metal tubes visible within the chamber. The metal keys are of varying lengths, but are arranged in diagonal lines. The face is decorated with a band of small paired triangles across the top and a rectangle outline of small paired triangles, separated from the field with an incised line.