The kusle is a zither played by the Volga-Finnic Mari people of Russia. It is played in the lap, with both hands, and was played on some occasions such as ritual sacrifices, and to accompany dancing. The instrument is shaped like a semi-circle, with 12-20 strings. The instrument is described as resembling the Russian gusli or the Finnish kantele.
Alternate spellings include kysle, kannõld, kärsi, karsh, kjusle and kiusle. Other sources simply refer to the Mari instrument as a zither, kantele, or gusli.
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