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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Bomba Drum

Object Details

20th century
wood, leather, plastic
8 9/16 × 13 × 11 5/16 in. (21.8 × 33 × 28.8 cm)
This drum shares its name with a musical genre, dance, and poetry; all are known as bomba, which means drum. The handmade drum voices the rhythms of afrochoteños, or Ecuadoreans of African descent living in Valle del Chota, the valley where the Chota and Mira rivers converge. Bomba del chota is the full name of the musical style and its signature dance. The drum’s construction reflects its rural roots—literally. Local vines, goat hide, and balsa wood traditionally comprise the drum. Metal wire and rope in various hues and widths add support to the vines, hide, and wood used to make this bomba. Written by hand on the drum’s head is a local musical group’s name and location, Grupo Gara Chimeo, and Chota, respectively. A player typically holds the bomba between the knees while patting the drum with the palms of the hands.
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