A native of Trinidad and Tobago, pan, was originally used for communication between enslaved Africans during the British colonial rule and acquired its modern form in the guise of used oil barrels made of steel.
To quote from the launching event of Pan Camp 2011 (during which participants were also taught spirituality and conflict management)
…learning pan… develops qualities of persistence and consistency… for achieving anything in life that is worthwhile.
P.S. Steel-pans are the only instruments in the world that follow the musical cycle of fourths-and-fifths calculated by Pythagoras.