Historical help - History of certain hand drums

... post here historical info of any other musical instrument non specified in the above forum (suggest here to open a new forum!)..

Postby JohnnyConga » Wed May 24, 2006 5:18 pm

I Believe the "bongo" is a derivative of "Moroccon" Clay drums, that the MOORS, used and carried along the way throughout Europe and Africa....Dr.Ortiz talks about the influence of the Moors on the music of West Africa also...and they called the drum the "tamboor".....as stated by Dr. Ortiz....."JC" Johnny Conga... :D
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Postby zaragemca » Wed May 24, 2006 9:24 pm

Brother JC,I think I already touched this subject before...First of all, the first people using the Clay weren't the Moroccan,but the Egyptians,(it was incorporated to them through the trade),and at one point learned how to manufacture things with it...There was never any of the Tribes which went to Cuba doing anything with Clay...And the Bongos were introduced into the cuban music by the Carabalies,(Abakuas),which have never anything to do with Moors....Beside that, the Muslims were the one getting into more contact with the south part of West/Africa,and by that time...(The history of the Muslim started during, 500 A.D.), the druming have been incorporated in Africa since BC times,Hannibal de Barca,(Greece Empire),already knew about the Arara/drumming.Dr. Zaragemca



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Postby OLSONGO » Wed May 24, 2006 10:03 pm

Something that I have found out is that the head circunferance of a small set of bongos is the same as that of an Okonkolo and the larger set of bongo's circunferance 8 x 91/2 is the same as that of the Itotole.
If that means anything.




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Postby pcastag » Thu May 25, 2006 12:31 am

zaragemca wrote:Brother JC,I think I already touched this subject before...First of all, the first people using the Clay weren't the Moroccan,but the Egyptians,(it was incorporated to them through the trade),and at one point learned how to manufacture things with it...There was never any of the Tribes which went to Cuba doing anything with Clay...And the Bongos were introduced into the cuban music by the Carabalies,(Abakuas),which have never anything to do with Moors....Beside that, the Muslims were the one getting into more contact with the south part of West/Africa,and by that time...The history of the Muslim started during, 500 A.D., the druming have been incorporated in Africa since BC times,Hannibal de Barca,(Greece Empire),already knew about the Arara/drumming.Dr. Zaragemca

Sorry 100 years off on the Musilim thing. 600's would be more accurate.
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Postby Master2987 » Thu May 25, 2006 5:09 pm

tjaderized wrote:Reading through this confirms my impression that we have very little definite knowledge about the true origin of the instrument that we call "bongo"!
Tracing a pair of drums tied together - like the Morrocan clay drums or other types south of the Sahara - just illustrates the "logic" behind the pairing process - the goal to broaden the sound spectrum.
The bongo is much more than the pairing of two drums

No offense to anyone, but I would have to say that the member I am quoting had the most accurate post I have read on the subject.

I think people are putting too much emphasis on the physical appearance of the drum, following a fossil record will not lead to the truth. After all, similar things/events can, and do appear in two totally unrelated places/times. It happens in nature, and also in certain behaviors living beings display. In other words, just because culture A and culture B both used two drums bound together does not necessarily mean that they both come from a common ancestor, or that one influenced the other.

In my humble opinion, the key to discovering the drum’s history is to trace back the drum’s purpose…the reason for its very existence. As some philosophers say, “everything in existence has a purpose in this universe, otherwise it wouldn’t exist”.

That being said, until I see hard evidence indicating otherwise, I will continue to believe that the drum we now know as the Bongo is of Cuban origin.

Have a nice holiday weekend everyone.
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Postby JohnnyConga » Thu May 25, 2006 5:36 pm

And Clay drums from the Middle east don't look like Bongos???....MOrroco- Egypt...same to me ....somewhere down the line the influence was there from Africa....and incorporated in Cuba...."JC" Johnny Conga....
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Postby zaragemca » Thu May 25, 2006 7:41 pm

Yes to Pcastag, I set the time in 500 A.D.,(referring to the frame time of the prophet birth, which is way off in relation to the druming in Africa,(BC time)....To brother JC, the Egyptian have around 2000 years of existence in Africa before the Moroccans,(so they are not the same),...As Olsongo point out the Bongos have more resamblance to the Yorubas Drums than any other Drums,and that copy took place in Cuba,(and not where else)...Anybody could take the actual/desing of the Bongos,or, Congas and make a resemblance,(that doesn't mean that they were building these drums like that centuries ago in Africa)..All the actual desing of the Congas,Bongos and Timbales took place in Cuba.Dr. Zaragemca



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Postby tjaderized » Thu May 25, 2006 9:38 pm

zaragemca wrote:......All the actual desing of the Congas,Bongos and Timbales took place in Cuba.Dr. Zaragemca

... and I think the practical circumstances play an important part, the materials and handicrafts available. In Cuba, the makers of barrells for wine and rum will have made the bodies for drums - in Africa in most cases they were carved from one piece of wood. Wooden barrels are more durable than clay drums - another practical aspect.
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Postby zaragemca » Sat May 27, 2006 11:09 pm

Yes,also the lack of forestation in the area were this Moroccans were living forced them to use the Clay,( more), as material for manufacturing,but 'Clay' is the relatively actual material which came after ''Terracota', which is of more ancient use by the Egyptian and the Yorubas.Dr. Zaragemca



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