Handmade Ekonting Banjo
The Enkonting (also akonting) is a gourd-bodied lute of the Jola people, found largely in Senegal's Casamance region and in neighboring Guinea-Bissau. In recent years, the ekonting has attracted considerable attention from scholars and musicians interested in identifying the most likely West African ancestor of the banjo. Thanks to the work of Jola researcher Daniel Jatta, the ekonting has emerged as the banjo's most likely progenitor. Due to its bulbous gourd body, it is more similar to the early banjos played by Africans enslaved in the Americas.