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"A Voice is Heard (Se Oye Una Voz)"
From Puerto Rico in Washington
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Bomba Drum
1980s

Puerto Rican percussion
This wooden-cask drum was used to play bomba, one of the oldest forms of music in Puerto Rico. One end of the drum is covered in animal skin with a fur fringe. This is held in place by a wooden band that is tensioned with fiber ropes hooked on four wooden pegs driven into the sides. Bomba was created on the plantations of Puerto Rico by enslaved Africans and their descendants in the 1680s. Like the Cuban rumba, bomba must include dance in its performance, reflecting its west African musical origins. Bomba ensembles usually feature three differently pitched drums and a single maraca.

Notes
Small wooden cask, animal skin
Web display only

Learn more!
· "A Collector's Vision of Puerto Rico," an NMAH Virtual Exhibition
· "A Voice is Heard (Se Oye Una Voz)"

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