Story Gourd Workshop


Call: (888) 893-2280


Handmade Gourd Banjo Store in Cookstown, Ontario

Coupon, Handmade Banjo Store in Cookstown, ON


Not only can you buy a banjo from us, you can also watch your instrument being made from scratch. Visit Story Gourd Workshop, a handmade banjo store in Cookstown, Ontario.

Music Like You've Never Heard
The roots of the gourd banjo reach deep into African and Caribbean history.  The banjo of North America is a legacy of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade that touches us all.  Our unique gourd instruments are inspired by the blended culture of Appalachian tradition.  The music of the mountains flows through our banjos, limberjacks and mouth bows right onto your front porch. Each instrument is handcrafted, and no two are alike.

Buy a ready-made instrument, or spend time with our artist, Dena Lee to see your instrument created before your eyes.  Our instruments are played by professionals and beginners alike.

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Your "one of a kind" banjo, kalimba, limberjack and other instruments


Awards/Recognition: Light Up the Night Festival | Part of the Artists' Studio Tour  |  Associations: Cookstown Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Gourd Society and American Gourd Society

Proudly Serving Customers Worldwide

Contact us about our wide selection of handmade and unique musical instruments.

The banjo and Appalachia culture go hand-in-hand.  Life in Knifley is a series of children's books written by my mother and me about her life as a little girl in the Eastern Kentucky mountains in 1940's. 

Illustated by Jason Laudadio of Toronto, the words come to life.  The hard won wisdom flows from the mountains and into these stories that you can share for a life time.

Follow the adventures of Sweet Ginny in this first volume "The Hawk".

Order your copy today!

Story Gourd Workshop price $17.95  SALE PRICE $15.00


About Dena Lee

You can walk a thousand paths between the Cumberland Gap of Kentucky and the village of Cookstown, Ontario where I established my studio, Story Gourd Workshop.  You can draw a thousand lines between old family stories and my simple songs.  I sing and I build musical instruments with gourds.  My work is inspired by the Appalachian traditions of my mother’s family and the Cherokee heritage of my father’s.

Building contemporary gourd banjos allows me to explore a link between the cultures, sounds, and lessons that have shaped my life.  A dense, earthy, humble gourd shares its story when it is opened.  The long months a gourd takes to grow and dry embodies for me a perseverance and strength that is translated into the banjo’s voice.  Sculpting each banjo neck from North American hard wood reminds me of exciting journeys that await if I yield to the grain and listen.

Other instruments that I make tell their stories through dance and song:  the mouth bow moans of life in the holler, the kalimba echoes ancient African winds, and the spirited gourd-headed limberjack’s jig recalls a simple life.  My instruments and I sing because we are happy.  We sing because we are free.

Story Gourd Workshop

Oh, the stories they tell.