The kalimba family of instruments is uniquely African and appears to have been invented twice! A wood or bamboo-tined kalimba appeared on the west coast of Africa some 3,000 years ago, and metal-tined lamellophones appeared in the Zambezi River valley around 1,000 years ago. Also known as the thumb piano, the kalimba is held with both hands and metal tines are plucked using the thumbs. The kalimba offers mellow tones and the opportunity for interesting rhythms. Although they are a very simple instrument, kalimba differ greatly in shape and sound and can be tuned precisely by adjusting the sound bars.