Kora is a western African harp with a varying amount of strings. Koras are constructed out of large gourds, animal skin, wood for handbars and the spine of the instrument, and strings made either out of fishing line or braided antelope sinew. Koras are played mostly in Senegal and The Gambia. They're exedingly beautiful in tone and timbre. The strings are arranged in two rows with one for each hand, and the strings are tuned alternately in increasing pitch. This design allows for simultaneous time signatures to be played on either hand, thus creating polyrhythms.
I got my kora from a merchant from Senegal who was selling them at a reggae festival. It has peg tuners instead of the traditional leather nooses used to tune and hold the strings. It also has fishing line strings which sound very rich and clear and beautiful. I've read that fishing line has replaced braided antelope tendons because of its ease of acquisition and consistancy.
Koras are ancient in design, no one actually knowing their date of origin. However, koras are the direct descendent of the very first stringed instruments. When the ancient Greeks ran into Koras, they adapted the idea and created the lyre. All stringed instruments from guitars to lutes to lyres to mandolins to banjos, fiddles, rebeks, basses and ouds trace their lineage to the kora.