Conga Drum Played by Paul Hawkins

Object Details

20th century
hide wood metal
25 7/8 × 14 3/4 × 14 15/16 in. (65.8 × 37.5 × 38 cm)
Cite As
Gift of Paul Hawkins
Percussionist Paul Hawkins played this conga drum for Melvin Deal’s African Dance and Drumming classes at The New Thing Art and Architecture Center. The community-based arts center thrived in Washington, DC’s Adams Morgan Neighborhood between 1966 and 1973. Conga drums are a blend of West and Central African and Cuban drums. Stretched across the head of this tall, wooden drum are two layers of hide. Metal nails secure the top layer to the drum’s side, while hide strings in taut twists anchor the bottom layer to additional metal nails near the drum’s base, spanning the length of the drum. Like Deal, Hawkins was an African American dancer, drummer, and educator from Washington, DC. The bandleader also helped to found Latin jazz, a musical style that fused bebop and Latin rhythms and united people in an era when race, class, and national origin typically segregated the city.
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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