Just asking rhetorically, because many of us have never seen the sight of someone beating the hell out of a pair of little drums from Cuba (by way of Africa) held between the knees.
Drum historians, of which there are not too many, trace the bongos back to late 19th-century Cuba, where the influence of African music was added to the local flavors by recent immigrants from Central Africa. The little drums became a part of various Cuban musical forms such as nengón, changüí, and son.
By the 20th century, Havana became a tourist destination and Americans who had visited the Cuban capital brought the music home with them. Sometimes, travelers even brought souvenir bongos home with them, handing them to the kids when they got home ("Lookit! I broughtja somethin'!") just before the kids went up to their room and mastered the hand drum technique in a matter of days, if not weeks.
|James Dean, man.|
|Marlon Brando, man.|
A group called The Incredible Bongo Band did a new version of "Bongo Rock" in 1973, and I facetiously mentioned the other day to a good friend that it was the recessional music at our wedding that winter. No, it was not, but one main reason why Peggy still puts up with me, almost 43 years later, is that I never owned or played a pair of bongos in our home.