This is LITTLE HOKUM RAG, the blog of artist Amy Crehore. Current show: GTFO2020 Group Show at Mortal Machine Gallery, New Orleans, LA Dec.2020-Jan.2021. Future show: Ephemeral-Territory of Girls Group Show #4 at Jiro Miura Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, Fall 2021.
Twin Minstrels playing banjos behind their heads S S Stewart's Sons Professional by Rettberg and Lange 1902 Click to Enlarge
S.S. Stewart factory illustrations 1883
Banjos are important American instruments. Banjos descended from gourd instruments brought to the New World by enslaved Africans as early as the 17th century. By the 1840's white musicians were playing them in minstrel shows. Later on they were heard in the Victorian parlor. Later still, banjos were used in hokum, ragtime, jazz and bluegrass music.