The Paragon Heartwood Mali Pro Bolon - 3 String (bow-LONE, also nbolon) is a traditional Mande harp consisting of a large open-top gourd covered with skin, fretless neck, bridge, and 3-4 tunable strings. This instrument is lower pitched than the other West African harps like the ngoni or kora, and is said to have association with the warrior class. Each bolon is hand made in Mali or Guinea using traditional methods.
- Large, thick calabash gourd, 16-18" diameter, with bass hole
- Thick goat or calf skin stretched over top, fastened with decorative tacks or stitching
- Curved, fretless neck extending from end of gourd 32-38", may have resonator attached
- Hardwood bridge with anchor hold 3-4 leather strings in place
- Tuning by sliding strings up or down the neck
- Hand crafted using traditional methods in Mali by cultural artisans supported by Africa Heartwood Projecxt