Conga Drum Played by Paul Hawkins
- 20th century
- wood, hide, and rope
- 27 3/4 × 16 13/16 × 16 5/8 in. (70.5 × 42.7 × 42.3 cm)
- Many Washingtonians danced to rhythms played on this Haitian conga drum. Hide stretched taut across the drum forms its head, held by ropes wound around pegs that pierce the hide and jut out of the drum’s sides at a 45-degree angle. The cylindrical drum tapers into three increasingly narrow tiers carved at the base. In Haiti, it is known as a boula drum, one of three used in Vodou’s Rada rite, in which practitioners communicate with African ancestors. Used as a conga drum in Washington, DC, it belonged to percussionist, bandleader, and dancer Paul Hawkins, one of the founders of Latin jazz. The lifelong Washingtonian, who was African American, fused bebop and Latin rhythms into a musical style that united people in an era when race, class, and national origin typically segregated the city.
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