Here is a link to see a photo of the gourd banjo that I purchased a few months back from Jeff Menzies.
http://www.maryzcox.com/gourd.html It is listed as # 16 on his web site, but I've renamed it "Bad Baby" because it has a huge round gourd instead of a canteen gourd and it tries to escape me while I play it.
There is a little photo of me holding it and it may take a few seconds to load, but the page should start streaming my gourd version of St. Anne's Reel.
I gave away two round banjo gourds to some dulcimer friends that wanted to try their hands at making their own gourd banjo. I bought them at a gourd festival in Ocala, Fl last year from a gourd farmer in Arkansas. My 75 year old uncle Bill went with me and after insisting on treating me to an elephant ride, he walked around and carried all my gourd purchases. Uncle Bill is my Mom's oldest brother and he really keeps me laughing. After we got the gourds, we went immediately to a bakery/lunch spot and sat and ate deserts and drank coffee the rest of the afternoon because his girlfriend and my husband are diabetic and we can't usually eat a bunch of deserts in front of them. :)
Anyway--one of the men that is making the gourd banjo has already made one prototype and will be making the gourd I gave him next. It is really pretty exciting to watch folks make these.
I knew I'd never be able to do it. It took me a whole day just to scrub off all the mold from the gourds and they flew all over the bathroom and I kept submerging them in the tub with pillowcases and bricks--but they kept shooting up in the air and escaping. I decided that if I couldn't even control the gourds to give them a bath, there wasn't much chance of me being able to carve a neck or put on a goatskin head. :)
The other man is talking about taking David Hyatts course to put his together. Probably a very smart choice. :)
PHOTO FLASH--You may remember seeing a photo of my daughter, Natalie, playing my gourd banjo--that was last year--If you'd like to see what Natalie is up to this year--go to the Blue Ducks Basketball team web page in Melbourne, Florida. She is captain of their dance team this year. http://www.brevardblueducks.com/Dance/dance.html
Mary Z. Cox