Google Celebrates Zimbabwe Culture Week with Mbira Doodle

By Juliet Mashiri

You might have opened up your search engine today and came across this cool Mbira doodle by Google. Why? Because as part of Culture Week in Zimbabwe, Google is celebrating Zimbabwe’s national instrument the Mbira.

What is the Mbira?

The Mbira is the national instrument of Zimbabwe, traditional to the Shona People. In English, it is known as the ‘thumb piano’ because of the main use of the thumbs when playing it. It consists of metal keys that are mounted on a gwariva (hardwood soundboard) and it’s often placed in a deze (resonator).

Image from mbira.org

The game follows a girl watching the mbira being played, who then grows up to inspire the next generation of mbira players. The Google doodle allows players to learn about the instrument and play traditional and modern songs on it ( for best performance use your PC).

To ensure its authenticity, the Google Doodles Team actually travelled to Zimbabwe and worked closely with musicians and mbira players from around the country to truly capture the beauty of the instrument.

To find out more on this special tribute from the Google Doodles Team itself you can click on this link: https://www.google.com/doodles/celebrating-mbira

Happy Culture Week Zimbabwe!

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