This banjo was made by an unknown maker in Marengo County, Alabama around 1850-1884. It is a Four-String Fretless Banjo. It was collected in in 1884 in Marengo County, Alabama by Dr. Edward Palmer for the Smithsonian's "frontier collection.” Although roughly made, with whittled tuning pegs and a tacked-on untanned animal skin head, the grooves worn into the fretless neck show that it was well used. The banjo is a typical example of many homemade instruments that used locally available materials to make instruments which could produce powerful results in the hands of a skilled musician.
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