No one person is credited with inventing the bongos, but it is believed they came about in the late 1800s in Cuba. Bongos were used in Latin American dance bands.
Each bongo was made to be a slightly different size, which meant each drum produced a slightly different sound. They are typically joined together, making them portable. Sometimes bongos are covered in animal skins, and today's drums are covered in wood or plastic. The drum body is usually made from wood, plastic or metal. Unlike other types of drums, no drumsticks are needed to play the bongos. They are played using the thumbs or fingertips.