Mandinka Magic, your source for professional quality West African instruments.
Featuring Fine Hand Crafted West African Musical Instruments

The MM Mark 6 Kora

Bringing modern tools and materials to the construction of this magical instrument, the Mandinka Magic Mark 6 kora, is the culmination of 13 years of experimentation and continual refinement in engineering. The result of this dedicated effort is an instrument with exceptional life and presence. Mandinka Magic koras are unrivaled for evenness of tone, volume, brightness and sustain. These features are the result of a rock solid tension system, which makes them a pure joy to play. The integration high strength/weight composite materials and super tough alloy steel into the construction makes the Mandinka Magic kora stay in tune for weeks or months at a time and allows rapid, concise and stable tuning changes.

Mandinka Magic Mark 6 Kora
Mandinka Magic Mark 6 Kora

Imported Materials

The sound bodies are imported West African calabash, steel reinforced and covered with hand cleaned Elk or domestic cow (#2 bleached or natural).

The tuning technology is old, simple, and precise. Tapered pegs turned to +/- .005 inches allow substantially higher string tension than the konso system. That additional tension translates into volume. My koras can hold their own with a balaphon just fine, a bonus for all you ensemble players. The tension system is constructed with carbon fiber composite reinforcing materials in the barambando (cross bar) and the fallo (neck).The dutunero (bottom anchor ring) is a very high strength and toughness automotive steel alloy eye bolt hand forged and welded. The instrument grade monofilament nylon string set is computer designed for clear accurate sound reproduction over the entire frequency and dynamic range.

My standard 21 string instruments are designed to be tuned to F or F#. Higher tonics will result in broken strings while lower tonics will cause the strings to be more slack, resulting in less than optimal sound. Since I custom build each instrument to fit the hands of the owner/player, designing the tension system to a different pitch or number of strings is also possible.

Great Sound

The MM Mark 6 is designed to be tuned in F or F# and carries approximately 600 lbs of tension at that pitch.The MM Mark 6 kora has earned the praise of many African musicians including Morikeba Kouyate, Toumani Diabate, Djimo Kouyate, Pappa Susso and others.

Impromptu performances on the MM Mark 6

Brief examples recorded at Jeff Bodony's work shop. Although the recording quality is not the best, you can still hear the full bodied sound that the MM Mark 6 produces. This is one resonant, acoustically loud kora with rock solid tuning and great sustain!

News Flash!

Toumani Diabate of Bamako, Mali just received his MM Mark 6 kora, and loves it!!