Puerto Rican Bomba is a joy to drum and dance

The Bomba of Puerto Rico is an African-inspired folk music style that is deeply intertwined with dance. The Bomba percussion ensemble consists mainly of maracas, palitos (clave-like sticks struck together), a cua (a bamboo tube struck with wooden sticks), and hand drums known as “bariles,” because they were traditionally made from the wood of barrels. There are low-pitched hand drums like the “beleador” (the “segundo”), which lays the foundation of the beat, and the high-pitched “subidor” (the “primo”) which improvises.