In the 1950s, Hugh Tracey made prototype kalimbas from dozens of different types of African hard woods. In the end, he chose Kiaat for the wood for his new invention, the Hugh Tracey Kalimba. Even though it was a new-fangled instrument, it reflected many design choices from traditional instruments, and the Kiaat wood choice was one of those, as many traditional kalimbas were made from Kiaat wood.
And today, in 2020 - or 66 years later for the math challenged among us - the Hugh Tracey Kalimba is still made from Kiaat African hardwood.
What makes kiaat so special?