African kpanlogo, sabar, and even some Haitian ritual drums are very unique sounding as well as fantastic pieces to gaze at. Whether used for dance or religious ceremonies, these drums are “conga-like” insofar as they are conical- or barrel-shaped wood shells with a natural skin stretched over one side. But that is about where the similarities end.
1) Tuning is not done with a wrench on steel lugs, but with pegs that, when tapped with a hammer and driven deeper into the shell (through pre-augered holes), stretch the skin tighter.
2) If the skin is already too stretched out you can assist by inserting a standard shim from your local hardware store.
3) You can play these instruments with bare hands similar to conga/djembe, but also common is to use a thin wood or bamboo stick in one hand.