by Sidi Touré

Thrill Jockey
ngoni • 2014

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This beautiful n'goni was hand-made and carried over on the plane from Bamiko Mali by the n'goni virtuoso Abdoulaye Koné aka Kandiafa.  

Abdoulaye Koné makes his own instruments and this instrument is exactly like one of the two he often plays. It is not easy to find a handcrafted instrument of this quality for sale in North America. This is the same type of instrument that Bassekou Kouyate  plays.

The n'goni is known to have existed since 1352, when Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan traveller reported seeing one in the court of Mansa Musa. It is believed to have evolved into the banjo in North America after Mande slaves were exported there.

Click through to see the n'goni played by the master and its maker Abdoulaye Koné in accompaniment with Sidi Touré on the song "Ay Hora."