Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

sansa (thumb piano)
  • Nigeria
  • sansa (thumb piano), late 1800s–1962
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • gourd, wood, metal, copper wire, plant fiber
  • Object Height/Diameter: 12 x 26.5 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 4 3/4 x 10 3/8 in
  • Gift of Theodore Eaton
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3199

The round thumb piano has a rounded base made from a gourd with a flat piece of wood over the top and nailed in place. The wood has two knife-shaped holes. Narrow strips of metal are mounted between the two holes. The metal strips are held in place with copper wire, the ends bent upwards over a metal rod above and below the wire. There is a loop of plant fiber through the holes. It is a light natural color.