The kantele is the oldest Finnish folk instrument, and is classed as a cordophone, that is, an instrument whose sound arises from a string stretched between two fixed points. The other Finnic tribes of the Baltic used similar instruments, as did a few Finno-Ugrian peoples, in addition to the Balts and the Russians.
The history of kantele stretches back a couple of thousand years. There is no accurate information as to its age. The older type of instrument was made by hollowing out the trunk of a pine, spruce or alder. The strings, of which there were usually five, were attached at one end to tuning pegs and at the other to a metal shank. The instrument was tuned to a diatonic scale between its bass and top notes which could , depending on the tuning of the central string, be either major or minor.
I have one of these..........a friend picked it up from a yardsale for me. It is the Kantele out of the Lark in the Morning catalogue....made by Dale Apple of California USA. Any thoughts on where to get a how to book on playing? I don't even have a tuning chart for this ;D but before i turn it into a door harp, would like to play with it.