The Kora is a Westafrican harp of the family of bridge harps or harp-lutes.
It's the highest developped string instrument of Africa. It is found in all Mande cultures. It is played by the Mandinka in Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau, the Malinke or Maninka in Guinée, the Bambara or Bamana in Mali and the Dioula in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Though, it's Gambia and Casamance (South Senegal) where it has the greatest importance for social life.
The Kora has a centuries-old tradition and has been played at royal courts, where the musicians and griots belonged to the personnel.
The Kora was mentioned 1799 for the first time in literature by Mungo Park in Travels in the interior districts of West Africa as korri.