These early "banjos" were spread to the colonies of those countries engaged in the slave trade.
Scholars have found that many of these instruments have names that are related to the modern word "banjo", such as "banjar", "banjil", "banza", "bangoe", "bangie", "banshaw".
Early, relatively primitive designs of the instrument are African in origin and modern (designs) vaguely resemble these early versions.
Regardless of who made this modification, the impact on the playing style of the instrument cannot be understated.
The fifth string fundamentally altered the way the banjo was played and the sound that it produced.
These banjos are basically drums with necks attached.
A number have survived and a couple of them are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.