Mbila Mutondo music is practiced by Vhavenda in the north of South Africa. The traditional instrument is a keyboard made out of the wood of the mutondo tree. The concept Mbilamutondo has been derived from two names, namely “Mbila” and “Mutondo”, to form the compound name Mbila Mutondo.

‘Mbila’ as a concept has also been used to refer to an indigenous Venda musical instrument, which is made up of flat carved wooden keys. Each key on its own is called mbila. The whole instrument is usually made up of groups of seven different notes.

The second part of the name, “Mutondo” is the Wild Teak tree, scientifically referred to as Pterocarpus angolensis, a tree of great value to Vhavenda. It is a plant species with important medicinal value.

Whereas at most times two artists perform on a single Mbilamutondo instrument, it is also possible to have more than one instrument, each with its own artist, making music simultaneously.’(Mugovhani, 2009)

Mugovhani, G. (2009). Mbilamutondo music and instruments in Venda culture. South African Journal of Art History, 24(3), pp.45 – 54.