Plena Drum

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 9/17/2009

This large, hand-held drum, known in Puerto Rico as a pandereta, is an essential instrument in the musical genre known as plena. The plena was developed by agricultural workers at the end of the 19th century on the southern coast of the island, around the city of Ponce. Considered a national musical genre throughout the 20th century, the plena may have originally reflected musical traditions brought to Puerto Rico by immigrants from other Caribbean islands. This example is from the city of Mayagüez.