Bongo drums are a portable percussion instruments consisting of two drums joined to each other. The two drums are different in size and are identified by different names. One drum is called a hembra and the other drum is referred to as a macho.
Wooden bongo drums were originally introduced to South America from Africa via the Atlantic slave trade. Bongo drums can be traced back to the late 19th century where they played an important role in the Cuban music scene and continue to do so. Variations on the traditional bongo drums can be found throughout the world.
Bongo drums are usually composed of wood, metal or some sort of composite material topped off with animal skins for synthetic materials for drum heads. Bongo drums are typically held between the knees when being played. Music has traditionally been produced by striking the drumheads directly with the hands, but sticks and brushes may be used as well.