The conga, or more properly the tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum with African antecedents. It is thought to be derived from the Makuta drums or similar drums associated with Afro-Cubans of Central African descent. A person who plays conga is called a "conguero". Although ultimately derived from African drums made from hollowed logs, the Cuban conga is staved, like a barrel.
These drums were probably made from salvaged barrels originally. They are used both in Afro-Caribbean religious music and as the principal instrument in Rumba. Congas are now very common in Latin music, including salsa music, merengue music, Reggaeton, as well as many other forms of American popular music.
Most modern congas have a staved wooden or fiberglass shell, and a screw-tensioned drumhead. They are usually played in sets of two to four with the fingers and palms of the hand. Typical congas stand approximately 75 cm from the bottom of the shell to the head. The drums may be played while seated. Alternatively, the drums may be mounted on a rack or stand to permit the player to play while standing.
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