Paragon Jeli Ngoni

The jeli ngoni (also djeli n`goni, pronounced like jelly, then nn-GO-nee) is a traditional Mande instrument, a lute played by the jelis. It consists of a hollow body with goat skin covering (like a drum) with a fretless fingerboard and four to seven fish-line strings, strung over a bridge and tensioned by leather straps. The djeli ngoni is likely the ancestor of the modern-day banjo, and is still very popular today in traditional and modern Mande music. These instruments are built to professional standards in Mali and Guinea.It has a solid, hand-carved hardwood body, and is 15-18 inches long and 4-5 inches wide.

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Product Description

The jeli ngoni (also djeli n`goni, pronounced like jelly, then nn-GO-nee) is a traditional Mande instrument, a lute played by the jelis. It consists of a hollow body with goat skin covering (like a drum) with a fretless fingerboard and four to seven fish-line strings, strung over a bridge and tensioned by leather straps. The djeli ngoni is likely the ancestor of the modern-day banjo, and is still very popular today in traditional and modern Mande music. These instruments are built to professional standards in Mali and Guinea. This instrument features:

  • Solid, hand-carved hardwood body, 15-18 in long and 4-5 in wide
  • Thick goat or calf skin stretched tight and fixed to body with decorative tacks or wood pegs
  • Fretless dowel fingerboard 25-30 in long, extending out of body 14-18 in
  • 4-5 thin fish-line strings attached to wood bridge, tunable with leather cinch straps
  • Hand crafted using traditional methods in Mali or Guinea by expert ngoni builders
  • Being a stringed instrument, this ngoni will need to be tuned after shipping
  • Imported, African-made product from Africa Heartwood Project
  • The purchase of this product sustains livelihoods for cultural artisans in West Africa.

Sizes & Prices

Model Size Description Retail Price (USD)
PDNM ~31"x5"x6" The jeli ngoni (also djeli n`goni, pronounced like jelly, then nn-GO-nee) is a traditional Mande instrument, a lute played by the jelis. $450

Artists

Africa Heartwood Drum & Dance Ensemble

Artisans