How do you play the kalimba? It's a thumb piano, so mainly you use your two thumbs! The Brazilian masters like to use four or six fingers, playing the kalimba as it sits in their lap - but I don't teach that style. That's because my kalimba playing is a lot about movement of the body while playing, and if you hold the kalimba in your hands and play with your thumbs, you can get up and walk, run, or dance as you play. Or at the very least, just move around a bit with the music.
The right index finger, however, is a special case, part of the venerable African mbira and karimba traditions, and we will consider it right now.