One of the main components of any kora is the kora body and we offer both ones from
Africa, using cow skin and ones made here in the UK , using deerskin. You can find
more information on how koras are made here.
Kora Body - West African the majority of our African kora bodies are made by Aliou
Gassama in Senegal. His work is of exceptional quality. The skins are taut and finely
finished due to his skill and experience. They have a metal ring around the edge
of the calabash (gourd) to enable the skin to be really tight and preventing the
calabash from being distorted.
Kora Body - UK We also make our own kora bodies here in Wales, using local deerskin
and West African calabashes. Our kora bodies have an aluminium ring which provides
stability and strength to the calabash, and yet is lightweight. The strength and
quality of deerskin is very high. It is generally creamier in colour and more even,
consistent quality than cow skin, and gives the kora a beautiful tone.
Necks We generally use Sapele for the necks, as it is very strong and yet lighter
in weight than the traditional Keno or Bubinga (often referred to as African Rosewood).
It is also a readily available and sustainable wood. Other woods, including Bubinga
are available as an option. The neck is finished with tung oil to protect the wood
and enhance and maintain it’s natural colour. A stainless steel eyebolt fits firmly
into place beneath the kora body and ensures the kora is very stable.
So, the starting point is a Standard Kora at £480 which gives you:
21 good quality chrome, sealed, 14:1 machine heads.
Plain style - tacks simply around the sound hole and at the edge of the skin.
The neck is Sapele. Finely sanded and shaped, finished with tung oil.
The bridge is Keno/Bubinga and accurately made.
The handles are plain and either as supplied from West Africa, or Sapele depending
Nylon strings - tuned to F in Silaba (we include some spare strings)
Our guarantee is that for 3 years from the date of purchase we will replace any defective
parts. The guarantee does not cover any damage caused by accidents, transport, inappropriate
storage or mis-use.
Tight Budget? Consider a Kora Kit. Assembling your own kora saves you £100 and will
reduce any shipping costs too.
We are a small UK company linked with craftsmen in Senegal and the Gambia. We make
koras with guitar machine heads, making them much easier to tune - our work is guaranteed.
We have sent koras all over the world, and have an excellent level of customer service.
A Standard Kora cost £480 with various options available. All of our koras are made
to the same high standard (see below) with options like amplification or extra strings
being added to suit the players needs. We also always ensure that a kora is suitable
for the player in terms of size.
To give you some ideas if you are looking for something particularly special, we
have also created some examples of option combinations which might make choosing
a more specialist kora easier.