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Catalog Data

Physical Description:
wood (part material)
metal (part material)
Measurements:
overall: 31 in x 10 in x 3 1/2 in; 78.74 cm x 25.4 cm x 8.89 cm
Object Name:
banjo
Place made:
United States
Date made:
1835-1865
Description (Brief):
This banjo was made by an unknown maker in the United States around 1835-1865. It has undergone considerable scrutiny and analysis at the Smithsonian because of its attribution to American slave origins. So far, studies have been inconclusive. While the sun design carved on the body may have African origins, the polygonal shape, wood top (instead of a skin), and carved head pegbox lie outside the traditions of banjos brought to America by Africans. Nevertheless, the instrument was likely made by someone familiar with Black culture.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
African American  Search this
Blacks  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert S. Jamieson
ID Number:
1990.0164.01
Accession number:
1990.0164
Catalog number:
1990.0164.01
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Banjos
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_606749