Part decorative element, part cultural artifact, the kalimba is first and foremost a musical instrument. The kalimba is a smaller, modern version of the mbira, which dates back more than 1,000 years in Zimbabwe. To play it, the tongues (lamellas) are depressed and released creating the same effect as being plucked.
If that sounds like music to your ears, then you will also be happy to know that it will make a great conversation piece in your home. Just be aware that similar to our shekere, everyone's first instinct will be to pick it up and give it a good plucking.
It makes a great, unique gift, and it can be yours almost for a song!