The roots of the banjo go back to West Africa. Early versions of the instrument came to the Americas with enslaved people. In the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina, the banjo took a strong hold, and along with the fiddle, formed the foundation of our traditional music. Today, the banjo is as present as ever across Western North Carolina. Not only is the banjo played here, but it’s also built here. Two young builders with their own distinct building styles and philosophies work to carry on the tradition.