African Harps, particularly arched or "bow" harps, are found in several Sub-Saharan African music traditions, particularly in the north-east. Used from early times in Africa, they resemble the form of harps in ancient Egypt with a vaulted body of wood, parchment faced, and a neck, perpendicular to the resonant face, on which the strings are wound.
The ennanga, nanga, nnanga or enanga is a type of arched harp played by the Ganda people of Uganda. The sound box is made of a single piece of wood and roughly hemispherical. The top of the box is a stretched resonant membrane made of antelope skin, tied to a piece of hide at the bottom of the box. The neck is attached to the inside of the box, exits through a small round opening on the membrane, and curves upward for about 60 to 70 cm. Seven or eight strings are attached to a piece of wood inside the box, and extend through the skin to tuning pegs inserted along the neck. Sometimes small metallic rattling pieces are attached to the pegs, to color the sound. It is usually used to accompany men's singing.
Abalanga (harpist) are skilled performers and composers who work within a very structured paradigm to ensure that no two abalanga performances are the same.
The kundi is the five-string harp of the Azande and related people of Central Africa. It is an instrument traditionally played by young men and boys. A similar type of harp played by the Nzakara people. The instruments are well known for their ornately carved heads. The instrument has generally fallen from popularity, though in 1993 some older players were recorded on the album Music from the Bandia Courts.