There are few images of African instruments during the 17th and 18th centuries. But the Capuchin missionary Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi, who spend nearly two decades in the region of Angola and the Kongo from 1654 to 1677, produced the watercolor below showing an ensemble of musicians that include one playing a two-stringed, gourd-resonator, harp.

To read more about Cavazzi and his writings, visit John Thornton’s online translation of one of his works here.

This image is reproduced from the wonderful site “The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas,” compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Libraries. The image is listed here under the title “Musicians, Kingdom of the Kongo, 1670s,”