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The shekere is a Gourd Shaker with a Unique Sound

The shekere (che-ker-ay) was brought to South America and the Caribbean from Africa during the time of the slave trade and is now most often used to accompany drumming and dancing during performances.

Traditionally, the shekere is made from a dried gourd or calabash, cut open at the top and hollowed out. Today, fiberglass varieties are available as well. The netting around the outside can be strung with beads or seeds and it’s played by shaking and/or drumming with the hands to create a multi-layered sound. The sound and volume is influenced by the shape and size of the body as well as the type of beads used.