Banjos of the Minstrel Era, 1820's through the early 20th century. Individual musicians and orchestras who blackfaced or were African American who played songs either learned from slaves or extolled a clownish or romanticized version of black life in the South, meaning the American Southeast. It's both historically and musically significant as both documentary of black culture in the coopted songs and the the prewar, Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, 19th turn to 20th century eras. There are volumes of academic materials and far more knowledgeable people than I on here. But here are some links, you should read about Wunderlich Banjos as well. He took his website down and stopped building after 20ish years...also Jeff Menzies banjos. His might only be on his Facebook page. And, there are more current builders I don't know of, but others might...cheers!